Over-40s League: It's jolly Golightly as Willow blast back for memorable win
Willow Pond rose to sixth place in Division Three following an epic 5-3 victory at Hedworthfield Red Hackle .
Willow were 2-0 down in 10 minutes. Andy Smith rifled home from the edge of the area after Darren Smith lost possession, then man of the match Smith was left unmarked to slot his second under diving keeper Matt Gartland.
Willow rallied and Gary Golightly converted a penalty, after a foul on Kit Tipling, but Hackle regained their advantage as Smith lobbed Gartland from 35 yards, for his hat-trick, after the visitors lost possession.
Star man David Kelly reduced the deficit with thunderbolt shot which took a deflection and wrongfooted Hackle keeper Gary Scott.
Scott produced an acrobatic save to deny Tipling’s overhead kick, but Willow levelled when midfield powerhouse Lee Brown won the ball and fired home an outstanding equaliser from the centre circle, the ball dipping in under the bar .
Willow’s tails were up and and they stormed ahead as Kelly’s mazy run and a Golightly cross was volleyed in by Tipling.
Andy Norman’s superb block denied Hackle a leveller, before Golightly robbed otherwise faultless centre-back Alan Dawson to fire the visitors’ clincher.
Rolls-Royce lost 4-2 at Richmond Town, while bottom club Oddies picked up a fine 3-3 draw at Redcar Old Boys, but Houghton Cricket Club were walloped 6-2 by Redcar Town. Washington JFC Biddick Inn fought for a 1-1 draw at Wingate Cons.
Fourth-top Dubmire held firm to secure a 0-0 First Division draw against leaders Hartlepool Gillen Arms, two magnificent defensive efforts in the final minutes ensuring the draw.
Second-placed Hylton CW would have gone top with a win, but they were also held to a goalless draw, away to Seaham Marlborough.
Ferryhill Greyhound consolidated third spot with a thrilling 5-4 success at Thornley Celtic, while Grindon Broadway battled to a 2-2 draw at Easington CIU.
The Philadelphia are still awaiting a first win in Division Two, after being pipped 3-2 by high-flying visitors Wallsend Boys Club.
Defences dominated early on, but the balance of play shifted after 20 minutes when, chasing a ball into Phili’s area, Chris Arnott clashed with keeper Brian Teasdale, who had to be carried off.
They then lost Micky Grieves to a hamstring injury and, while trying to get the subs on, Arnott nipped in with two headers to put the visitors in control.
Neil Westray poked home from six yards to give Phili hope in the second half, but Arnott converted ta penalty at the other end to complete his hat-trick.
Phili came back and Alan Jones noticed the keeper off his line and chipped him from 18 yards to make it 3-2. Two more injuries, though, wrecked their push for an equaliser and Wallsend saw the game out.
Mill View SC drew 1-1 in their derby with John Hogg Funerals. Mill View shaded the first half and deservedly went ahead when Anth Hodgson headed in Clinton Thompson’s corner.
A keenly contested second half saw both sides giving everything, with John Hogg securing a point when a goalmouth scramble, from a corner, saw the ball bundled into the net . Mark Naile was Mill’s man of the match.
Horden Sportsmans succumbed 4-2 at Durham Stonebridge and leaders Pelton Crown Inn thumped second-top Cobblers Hall 6-1.
Peterlee Helford handed out a 6-2 defeat to visitors Hartlepool Catholic Club, scoring four times after being pegged back to 2-2.
In Division Four, Ivy Legends regained winning ways with a 2-1 derby triumph at Colonel Prior.
Wearmouth Old Boys made leaders Roseberry Grange work for their 3-1 win, while third-top Boldon Colliery Tavern slipped up, losing 2-1 to Hartlepool Jacksons Arms.
An own goal gave Durham County their sole consolation in a 4-1 defeat at Hartlepool Vets, while bottom club Trimdon Vets were beaten 4-1 at Billingham Vets.
Wearmouth CW climbed two places to third in the Premier Division on the back of a very impressive 5-0 win over Cramlington Burton House.
Red House WMC went down 3-1 to Tudhoe Black Horse, while Hartlepool Touchdown slipped up again, losing 1-0 to Darlington Shuttle & Loom.