Over-40s League: Cliff's memorable diving header takes Broadway boys into second place
Grindon Broadway moved second in Division One, leapfrogging Dormans thanks to a hard-earned 1-0 victory as the league restarted after the Christmas break.
Dormans were the better team in the first half and should have led 2-0 but for the stubbornness of Grindon’s defence.
In the second period, Grindon struck with a well-worked goal. A defensive clearance found man of the match David Snowball, who turned three Dormans players inside out and fed Davey Cooper, who raced down the left wing and, after beating two defenders, sent over a brilliant cross for Darren Cliff to score with a brilliant diving header from 12 yards.
Grindon maybe should have scored again, but it finished 1-0. David Mills starred for Dormans, while Ashley Cooper won praise for his refereeing.
Pelton Crown went down 5-4 in a thriller at leaders Whitley Bay Seahorse, while Hebburn Town won 5-1 at Newton Aycliffe Cobblers Hall.
The Philadelphia rocked fourth-top Ivy Legends with a 5-2 victory in Division Three.
Phili never looked back after going 3-0 up by half-time.
On 20 minutes, Mark Nixon latched onto a great cross from Paul Russell and steered the ball home.
It was 2-0 when Ivy failed to clear a 24th-minute corner and Mick Pattinson was on hand to score.
Soon after, Nixon picked up a pass on halfway, raced clear and had a fierce shot parried, with Nick Leat calmly converting the rebound.
Michael Cleugh rallied the visitors on 56 minutes when he got clear of the home defence and shot
low and hard into the bottom corner.
Phili, annoyed at losing their clean sheet, restored their advantage when star man Nixon chased down a back pass, beat the keeper to it and rolled it into an empty net.
Alan Jones made it 5-1, bending a 20-yard free-kick around the wall past a helpless keeper, but Ivy had the last word, with Mark Duffy forcing home a scrambled consolation on 79 minutes.
Willow Pond climbed to sixth place by thumping lowly Houghton Cricket 6-1.
Two quick goals settled the hosts.
David Kelly’s run from midfield ended with a slide rule pass to James Briant, who shot past Houghton keeper Jimmy Hassan.
Briant turned provider for the second, taking David Laws’ pass and squaring for Gary Golighly to tap home.
Houghton pulled one back when star man Allan Russell’s cross was spilled by keeper Andy Tilbury, allowing Keith Ridley an easy toe-poke for 2-1.
Willow hit their third when Matt Barton fed Golightly, who dribbled past one defender and cut inside to produce a sublime chip over Hassan.
Michael Forster headed just wide for Houghton, who had a strong penalty claim rejected.
Willow capitalised to go 4-1 up as Briant’s low shot, set up by Barton, beat Hassan.
On the restart, Golightly curled home a fifth after excellent work from full-back Gary Barker, then he unleashed an unstoppable shot to complete the scoring.
Ref Gavin Sloanes was praised for his efforts.
Rolls-Royce forced a 0-0 draw at Billingham Vets, while Washington JFC Biddick Inn outgunned Redcar Old Boys 4-2 to go second.
In Division Two, Plains Farm Alldec were pipped 4-3 by South Shields Catholic Club and Mill View lost 5-1 to table-toppers St Mary’s College.
Dubmire rose to seventh bt beating Stanley 4-2. and Peterlee Helford lost 3-1 at Hartlepool Catholic Club, despite a goal from Unsal Kimizi. John Archer shone for Helford.
In the Premier Division, Ryhope Foresters had to come from behind to beat visitors Wallsend Community 2-1.
Wallsend started the game much the stronger and took a deserved lead before half-time.
Ryhope responded well and equalised from a fine David Fishwick header before an excellent run into the box was stopped by a foul, with Paul Robinson converting the resulting penalty to seal victory with the very last kick.
Easington CIU started 2018 with a bang, beating 10-man Hartlepool Raby Arms 7-1, with two own goals before half-time setting up the win. Easington were flattered by the margin of victory, helped by three Orgs.
In Division Four, Wearmouth CW Old Boys secured a superb 6-0 home win over Shildon, while Boldon Colliery Tavern edged home 3-2 at Doxy Lad.
Pennywell Comrades put up a good fight in their 4-3 loss to Forest Hall.