THERE hasn’t been any Christmas cheer for Horden CW, who are now without a win in 18 games after going down 3-1 to promotion challengers Morpeth Town in Saturday’s EBAC Northern League Second Division game.
It is not all doom and gloom at Welfare Park though. After conceding 15 goals in their previous two fixtures, they scored first and were not disgraced losing by a two-goal margin.
Peter Crawford gave them an early lead, toe-poking the ball into the net following a cross from Stephen Hockaday and it took Morpeth, who have lost just once all season, half an hour to get back into the game.
A superb defence-splitting pass from Lee Scott was picked up by Mark Grant, who rounded goalkeeper Steven Hubery before slotting the ball into the empty net.
Horden held their own and never looked as if they would be overwhelmed, as they had been in the two previous games, but on the hour mark a Paul Dunn free-kick was fired in by Stephen Anderson.
Four minutes later and the Colliers faced an uphill task. Morpeth were awarded a free-kick outside the penalty area which Michael Chilton drove past the wall and Hubery for this side’s third, decisive goal.
Ryhope CW, whose game was called off, were toppled by Crook Town, who moved into pole position for the first time.
The Millfield men strengthened their promotion challenge, defeating fourth-placed Northallerton Town with goals from Chris Wallace and Kyle Davis.
There was some good news for Ryhope in that another of the promotion contestents, Darlington RA failed to defeat lowly Brandon United.
A Stephen Allison penalty had RA in front for more than 70 minutes. but they were shocked just before the end as Mark Costello levelled.
Washington progressed in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup with victory over Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.
Michael Latimer took advantage of a poor back pass to open the scoring after 36 minutes and 10 minutes from the end, Lee Hamilton headed home.
Newtowners’ goalkeeper Chris Bannon kept his side in the tie with a splendid save from Carl Paterson.
Only two games went ahead in Division One. Durham City moved up to eighth from bottom with a third successive win as they defeated Bedlington Terriers at New Ferens Park.
Mark Doninger fired Terriers into the lead, but, before the break, Scott Fenwick levelled with a fine, glancing header.
City enjoyed much more of the possession throughout the 90 minutes and deservedly went in front when Craig Ellison drove a free-kick past the wall and goalkeeper Jack Norton, who was beaten for a third time on 73 minutes by Ollie Hotchkiss. His scorching 25 yard shot flashed into the net.
Ashington were twice ahead courtesy of Marc Walton and Gareth Bainbridge at Billingham Synthonia, for whom the outstanding Danny Newby bagged a brace to earn his side a point.