Over-40s League: Thompson, Hodgson clinch Christmas cheer for Mill View battlers
Mill View SC enjoyed an early Christmas present as they rocked high-flying Pelton Crown Inn to secure all three points in Division Two.
Both sides looked to attack from the start, but both defences held firm.
Pelton applied a bit more pressure and forced a number of corners, but Mill defended stoutly before, from their first corner, they found Clifton Thompson free in the box where he drilled the ball low into the net to secure a 1-0 interval lead for the Sunderland side.
Pelton dominated most of the second half, but they found the Mill defence difficult to penetrate and goalkeeper Del Groves in fine form behind them.
Mill were always dangerous on the break and, after good work in midfield, the ball fell to Anthony Hodgson to finish from close range to clinch victory at 2-0.
Shaun Dunn and George Duncan were excellent at the back for Mill View.
The Philadelphia remain at the bottom of the table after going down 5-2 at home to Blakelaw SC.
Depleted Phili started well but were caught on the break twice as Blakelaw stormed ahead, the second goal helped by a lucky ricochet.
The hosts sparked into life and, after some good approach play, Paul Russell and Mark Nixon played a clever one-two for Nixon to fire home from 10 yards.
Poor marking at a corner allowed the visitors to go 3-1 up, and they extended their lead with two more goals which should have been prevented.
Phili mustered up one last attack in the 75th minute and Neil Machin was on hand to smash home from the 18-yard line.
Blakelaw’s scorers were Mike Garwood, Chris Nevin (2), Scott Murray and Lee Redhead.
Horden Sportsmans grabbed the derby bragging rights with a hard-earned 4-2 victory at Peterlee Helford, while John Hogg Funerals edged home 4-3 in a thriller away to North Shields Pineapple.
Washington Victoria Inn ended 2016 on a high note, going nap at home to a weakened Tudhoe Black Horse to leapfrog their visitors into ninth place in the Premier Division.
Tudhoe had to field secretary Corbie Weastell in goal, and he was beaten in the 15th minute, when the prolific Gary Allison struck with a well-placed shot from the edge of the box.
Tudhoe, though, quickly equalised with a good header from Steve Quinn.
Allison put Washington back in front before half-time with a toe poke. The second half saw Victoria pile on the pressure as Tudhoe tired and further goals from Lee Miles, Keith Gamble and man of the match Allison, completing his hat-trick, finished the scoring at 5-1.
Peter Croft starred for Tudhoe.
Ryhope Foresters avenged their recent cup defeat by beating Red House WMC 2-1 to consolidate third place.
Wearmouth CW climbed to fourth place after an eighth win of the season, 4-2 against Darlington Shuttle & Loom, while leaders Marden eased to a 4-1 victory at Hebburn Town.
Penshaw Catholic Club rose a place to sixth thanks to a 3-3 home draw with Heaton Stannington.
Seaham Marlborough upset leaders Hartlepool Gillen Arms with an impressive 3-1 away triumph to climb to seventh place in Division One.
A superb finish gave Marlborough the breakthrough, and it was soon 2-0 when they capitalised on a poor clearance.
A killer third goal followed five minutes into the second half.
Second-top Hylton CW were without a game but they remain just a point behind Gillens, now with three matches in hand.
Grindon Broadway, after a good performance the previous week, slumped to a disappointing 5-1 defeat at South Shields to drop two places to ninth.
Mark Fox gave Grindon the lead, but Elrington immediately levelled and the visitors were never in it from that point. Three goals in eight minutes, from Adamson and Booth (2), had Grindon reeling and Booth completed his hat-trick on 78 minutes to complete the scoring.
Mick Welford stood out at left-back for Shields, while referee Chris Johnson impressed.
Ferryhill Greyhound, in third, were held 3-3 by lowly Consett.
Oddies pushed Durham County Strollers hard as they chased only a second win of the season, but they were pipped 5-4 and are now seven points adrift at the foot of Division Three.
Leaders Stanley won 2-0 at third-bottom Houghton Cricket Club, while Washington JFC Biddick Inn rose to sixth place thanks to a 4-3 success at Hedworthfield Red Hackle.
Willow Pond dropped to ninth place following their 3-2 reverse at home to Richmond Town, while Rolls-Royce were walloped 6-2 at Ashington outfit Woodhorn Lane.
Colonel Prior picked up a second successive win in Division Four, thanks to a single-goal triumph over Wearmouth Old Boys, and leapfrogging their visitors to fourth-bottom spot in the process.
Ivy Legends dropped to third place after being held 2-2 at Heighington Bay Horse. Billingham Vets climbed into second after beating Sedgefield 6-2, while leaders Roseberry Grange bagged a 13th win in 16 games, 2-1 at Boldon Colliery Tavern.
Oddfellows Arms endured a tough day, succumbing 11-0 at Hartlepool Jacksons Arms.
Durham Stonebridge exited the Ironside Cup, going down 4-3 on penalties to Hartlepool Catholic Club, after a close-fought 1-1 draw.
The league now has a Christmas break, with fixtures resuming on January 7. Steve Cullen, secretary of The Philadelphia, who have won only one league game this season, summed up the festive season by wishing “a Merry Christmas to all our readers. Here’s hoping for a happier and more fruitful New Year”.