Brandon on cloud nine as Moody, Harrison run riot

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BRANDON United bolstered their Ebac Northern League Second Division survival hopes with a totally unexpected nine-goal blitz of Birtley Town.

There was no stopping United, although James Davison and Stephen Moody only had them two up at half-time.

Moody completed his hat-trick, as did John Harrison, with Adam Cocks and Andrew Blackburn adding to the woes of Birtley. Brandon had only scored 41 goals in 33 games prior to their demolition job.

It was not a good night for Seaham Red Star, with three of their promotion rivals winning.

Title favourites North Shields maintained a six-point lead when they romped to a 6-2 victory at Alnwick, who had Brian Murray sent off for handball at 1-1 in the 39th minute.

Gareth Bainbridge converted the resulting penalty before going on to seal a hat-trick, backed by Ben Richardson, Dean Holmes and Michael Tait. Darren Riddle and Keith Douglas netted for Alnwick.

Second-top West Allotment Celtic moved four points clear of third-placed Red Star when Shaun Reid (2) and Tony Lancaster secured a 3-1 win at Esh Winning, for whom Stephen Parnaby struck.

Promotion outsiders Heaton Stannington produced a strong second-half performance to win 4-2 at Stokesley SC, who led through Greg Peel at the break.

Two goals by Paul Mills and Lawrence McKenna in three early second-half minutes gave Heaton the impetus and they went 4-1 up through McKenna and Stuart Brown before Gary Yates replied.

In Division One, Billingham Synthonia won 3-1 at Penrith, who are not yet mathematically safe. Jack Bradbury (2) and Michael Sweet did the damage before Shaun Gardner responded.