Northern League: Spot-kick agony as Easington miss out in Synners crunch
Easington Colliery are far from out of the Second Division promotion race.
But Paul Frame and Craig Parkinson’s men suffered a big blow in losing Saturday’s thrilling battle at home to third-top Billingham Synthonia.
Aidan Goodey and Jack Pounder both rattled the woodwork for Easington before Synners took the lead after 14 minutes when Macauley Langstaff scored from an acute angle after being set up by Nathan Mulligan.
Former Spennymoor midfielder Anthony Peacock fired home from the edge of the box to double the visitors’ advantage, but Reece Kenney reduced the deficit on 31 minutes, when he thumped home a low, 25-yard free-kick.
Luke Page, who had claims for a penalty waved away, scored a stunning goal to haul Easington level three minutes before half-time, when he found the top corner of the net with a 20-yarder after a corner was only half-cleared.
It was nip and tuck in the second half, but Synners grabbed the goal which proved to be the winner in the 58th minute.
In the second half, Synners took the three points when they were awarded a penalty in the 58th minute, following a foul on Chay Liddle, and Mulligan duly obliged from the resulting spot-kick.
Easington dropped to seventh place but fell six points behind Synners, in the third promotion spot.
Durham City dropped to fifth place after a surprise 2-1 defeat at struggling Willington.
City scored first, on the stroke of half-time, when Bradley Hird netted from close range. But Lewis Milner’s header levelled matters on 52 minutes and Daniel Kent’s first goal for the Hall Lane outfit sealed Willington’s precious win with a 66th minute penalty, enhancing their survival hopes.
Tow Law Town produced an even bigger shock, defeating second-top Team Northumbria 2-0.
Adam Nicholls’ 10th-minute opener and a Dean Thexton strike on 25 minutes did the damage, lifting the Lawyers to 11th place.
Crook climbed out of the bottom three, with a much-needed 3-0 home win over Thornaby.
A fine second-half display sealed the win for Wilf Constantine’s side, with Callum Johnson’s 51st minute opener followed by Peter Brown (78) and a last-minute effort from Christian Holliday.
Brandon United eased their relegation fears with a fine 3-0 win over Bedlington Terriers. Dan Quine (50) and Shane Todd (62) had them on top before James Moore killed off Terriers in the final minute.
Billingham Town, in fourth, won 3-2 at Hebburn Town.
Chris Dickinson (2) and Craig Hutchinson had the visitors three up in 36 minutes.
Hebburn improved on the restart but only managed replies from Chris Feasey and Chris Smith.