Wearside League: West End boys keep up super start to the year with third win in a row
Sunderland West End beat Stokesley SC 2-1 at Ford Quarry, extending their perfect run in 2017 to three wins out of three in league and cup.
Martin Thompson opened the scoring after 15 minutes for West End, who doubled their advantage 18 minutes later, courtesy of Mark Catcheside’s coolly-taken successful penalty.
Captain Jordan Rivis pulled a goal back on 55 minutes, but West End held on for another good win.
With games in hand on all of the teams above them, ninth-placed West End must be looking to secure a top-six finish under bosses Barry Cook and Anth Nelson.
They also have the small matter of a Monkwearmouth Cup semi-final at Prudhoe Town looming this weekend, with confidence high in the squad.
Seaham Red Star Reserves’ new management team of Lee Ellison and Paul Proud must have taken some positives out of their first performance, despite going down to a 3-1 defeat at Ashbrooke Belford House.
Two first-half goals from Kyle Sumner, in the 22nd and 36th minutes, gave the Belford lads a 2-0 lead at the break.
Red Star Reserves kept fighting and pulled a goal back in the 71st minute, thanks to Liam Shaw, but their hopes of snatching a point were killed off when Stephen Bogie rifled home Ashbrooke’s killer third goal, with 10 minutes to go.
The win give them the ideal lift ahead of this weekend’s Durham County Trophy semi-final trip to Coxhoe Athletic.
Fourth-placed Silksworth CW had to settle for a 1-1 draw at lowly Wolviston.
James Cook headed home in the 55th minute to see Andy Stobbart’s men in front, but a brilliant solo effort from Andrew McGurr, only seven minutes later, earned the battling home side a share of the spoils.
Boldon CA were unlucky to lose 2-1 at table-toppers Jarrow in an entertaining South Tyneside derby.
Paul Mossa’s side went ahead in the 55th minute through Adam Drysdale’s tap-in. But two late strikes cost them dearly as the league leaders pressed late in the game.
Jarrow were awarded a penalty in the 86th minute and Stephen Graham duly obliged from the spot, levelling matters.
Then, in the final minute, substitute Max Kirkham cut into the penalty box and fired home from an acute angle to clinch Jarrow’s 2-1 victory, their 21st in 27 league matches this season.
Dave Bell’s side remain six points clear, though second-placed Richmond Town have three games in hand.
Coxhoe Athletic are up to seventh after a 4-2 home win over Windscale as Kyle Morris enjoyed a day to savour.
Laurie Black opened the scoring for the visitors after five minutes, but Morris levelled on 15 minutes. Windscale regained the lead after 26 minutes, courtesy of Raymond Sempill.
But Morris again equalised from the penalty spot, a minute before the break, and two late strikes from Morris, in the 87th and 90th minutes, sealed the win and capped a superb display from the striker, who grabbed all four home goals.
South Shields Reserves were well beaten, 4-1 at Darlington 1883 Reserves, who now sit in 12th place.
Joseph Smith and Derek Cooper-Wade gave Darlington a 2-0 lead, but Shields Reserves pulled one back on 25 minutes through Ryan Bolam.
Further strikes from Kurt Matthews and Nathan Stevenson sealed the win for the home side, their 10th of the season.
Leam Rangers finished good 3-1 victors away to bottom club Harton & Westoe CW.
Sixth-placed Hartlepool surrendered a two-goal lead when they went down 3-2 at home to Richmond Town.
Jamie Tumilty gave Pools the lead on 14 minutes, and they looked good for a victory when Alex Marshall converted from the penalty spot, just before the half hour mark.
But the Dalesmen cut the deficit right on half-time, through Ben Darville and two late second-half goals from Scott Ryan and Damon Reaks completed an impressive fightback from the visitors, who remain in second position.
Prudhoe Town lost 1-0 at home to Redcar Athletic, who remain third, only behind Richmond on goal difference.
The all-important goal, in a closely-contested match, at Kimberley Park came in the 13th minute when recent signing Sam Garvie was brought down in the box and Adam Preston fired home from the spot to give Athletic all three points.
Annfield Plain endured a long journey home after a 6-1 thumping away to Cumbrians Cleator Moor Celtic.
Jake Hall hit the Derwent Park outfit’s consolation goal, as Moor triumphed thanks to efforts from Tom Mahone (2), Josh Charlton, Leigh Dunn, Ryan Hall and Bradley Rooney, despite having Brad Tatton sent off.