MUCH-fancied Spennymoor Town had a close shave in last night’s Ebac Northern League First Division game at Bedlington Terriers, writes MALCOLM PRATT.
With the final whistle about to be blown, Wearsider Mark Davison grabbed a dramatic 93rd-minute winner just when it appeared Terriers had done enough to claim a point at 1-1.
Jason Ainsley’s side had the early boost of a seventh-minute goal from Lewis Dodds, but the home side levelled through Phil Cave three minutes before the interval.
Following an encouraging start to life in the top flight, Crook Town are now down to mid-table after being hit for six by Newcastle Benfield, whose previous six games had brought two wins and four defeats.
But there was no stopping the Tynesiders at Sam Smith’s Park, even though Crook’s Kyle Davis cancelled out Paul Brayson’s early strike.
Once they regained the lead courtesy of Brayson, Benfield dominated. One-time Newcastle United striker Brayson completed his hat-trick, Stephen Baptist bagged a brace and, in added time, Lewis Horner heaped more misery on the Millfield men.
Billingham Synthonia eased their position near the bottom with a 3-0 victory over Team Northumbria, thanks to strikes from Nathan Porritt, Foster Garton and Mattie Osmond.
Newton Aycliffe hit an 89th-minute winner in a seven-goal thriller with Guisborough Town, who led on three occasions through Danny Johnson (2) and Lewis Wood.
Jamie Owens and Danny Earl (2) kept Aycliffe in the game and, with only a minute remaining, Earl became Aycliffe’s matchwinner, completing his hat-trick.
In Division Two, North Shields’ lead at the top is now just a single point after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Northallerton Town.
Twice ahead thanks to Adam Scope and Dan Smart, the Robins were pegged back as Jamie Clarke scored twice.
Heaton Stannington moved into second place with a 2-1 victory at Willington who are finding life difficult following promotion from the Wearside League.
Jonathan Wright and Ben Telford were Heaton’s marksmen and Chris Hardy netted for the Hall Lane side, who are fourth from bottom with one win and three draws from nine games.
Brandon United succumbed 3-0 to Stokesley SC, for whom Danny Jones, Nathan Graham and Stuart Brown beat goalkeeper Carl Morris.
Norton and Stockton Ancients and West Allotment Celtic shared the points in a 3-3 draw, but it was a close call for the Tynesiders, who managed a last-minute equaliser from Sean Reid. Liam Hudson and David Dormand were their other marksmen, with Sonny Andrews (2) and Nick Martin on target for Norton.