THERE was an unexpected twist in the race for the Ebac Northern League First Division championship last night, with Shildon crashing to a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle Benfield.
The lowly Tynesiders broke the deadlock on 40 minutes when Paul Brayson delicately chipped keeper Kyle Hayes, making up for his failure to convert a penalty three minutes earlier. Hayes produced a great save from the spot-kick, pushing the ball onto the post.
Benfield were awarded a second penalty on the hour mark, with Brayson comfortably firing home this time, sending Hayes the wrong way.
Jarrow Roofing were in with a chance of upsetting the form book when they trailed by just one goal to Gateshead in their Durham Challenge Cup quarter-final, but the home side scored twice in the last 10 minutes to secure a 4-1 victory.
Kevin Saint-Luce’s cross was driven home by Michael Rankine for Gateshead’s 15th-minute opener, and, on the stroke of half-time, Saint-Luce set up Michael Williamson to double the lead.
Gateshead’s Jon Shaw had a 46th-minute penalty saved by Alan Greenan, and Roofing responded, halving the deficit when Jack Errington headed in a corner.
Richie McLoughlin’s men went in search of an equaliser but left the door open for Rankine to score twice in the last 10 minutes, completing his hat-trick.
Despite playing against 10 men for the entire second half, Bedlington Terriers crashed 4-1 to Guisborough in the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup. Jordan Nellis missed a penalty for Terriers, with Stephen Young converting their second spot-kick.
Nathan Steel, Nathan Mulligan (2) and James Risborough swept the visitors to victory despite Leon Carling’s dismissal.