IT wasn’t a good day for Sunderland RCA, who gave a poor EBAC Northern League performance losing 3-0 to Newcastle Benfield at Meadow Park.
But as so often happens when a club appoints a new manager, the Tynesiders bounced back to give newly-appointed boss Anthony Woodhouse a successful baptism.
He was appointed last Thursday, two days after Perry Briggs resigned following indifferent form which saw Benfield slip to below mid-table.
There was an early warning for Neil Hixon’s team when slack defending allowed Gary Ormston to volley the ball past Neal Atkinson after just seven minutes.
Worse was to follow and when Alex Benjamin was brought down, Ormston converted the 20th minute penalty.
RCA did improve but conceded a third goal, again to man-of-the-match Ormston, 19 minutes from the end.
Durham City paid the price for failing to take their chances when Marske United scored the only goal in the 90th minute at New Ferens Park. Following a breakaway, Lewis Tidy beat goalkeeper Gareth Young from some distance.
In complete contrast, Spennymoor Town maintained their blistering form with a six-goals mauling of Norton and Stockton Ancients. Mark Davison rifled a hat-trick with Keith Graydon, Michael Rae and Andrew Stephenson also on target. Marske’s cause wasn’t helped by having Mark Lilley sent off but by then they trailed by three goals.
Jason Ainsley’s side stay second and although eight points adrift of leaders Darlington 1883, they have three games in hand on their rivals.
The Quakers had to come from behind at Billingham Synthonia whose impressive first-half performance had them ahead through Danny Johnson.
It was a different picture in the second period however when the leaders roared to victory courtesy of Gary Brown, Chris Emms, Stephen Thompson and Leon Scott.
Bedlington Terriers comfortably defeated Penrith thanks to Steve Bowey, Paul Brayson and Phil Bannister. Penrith’s only reply was credited to Charlie Bowman.
After losing their previous game, Whitley Bay were back to winning ways against Newton Aycliffe. Ash Davis, James Novak and Paul Chow were their marksmen with Fred Woodhouse claiming a late goal for bottom-of-the-table Aycliffe.
The Seahorses are fourth top with West Auckland immediately behind them after seeing off a strong challenge from Guisborough Town with first-half strikes by Mattie Moffat and Elliott Gardner.
Hebburn Town continue to impress during their first season back in the top flight. An only goal in the 90th minute by Paul Gardner earned them all three points at Bishop Auckland and a move into the top six.
Seaham Red Star are up to fifth in Division Two after staging a remarkable rally when all seemed lost at bottom-of-the-table Alnwick Town, who looked home and dry when they led through Daniel Thompson, Tony Brown and Mark Nixon.
Shannon North led the fightback and in the second half, Daniel Olusoga (2) and Alan Pegrum earned Red Star all three points.
Second-top Northallerton Town failed to take full advantage of Ryhope CW’s game being one of several to be postponed.
They had to settle for just one point at Whitehaven for whom Kevin Connolly and Jake Smith cancelled out strikes by Stephen Butterworth and Adam Emson.
Horden CW went down to North Shields for whom Robert Nolan scored all three goals while a brace of goals by Lewis Lynch for Chester-le-Street cancelled out efforts from Brandon United’s Mark Bell and Stephen Moody at Chester Moor Park.