Defence stands firm as Washington win

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WASHINGTON moved into the top half of the Ebac Northern League Second Division with last night’s 2-1 victory over Whitehaven in Cumbria.

The Newtowners recovered after conceding an early penalty which Sam Smith converted. After 19 minutes, Washington were also awarded a spot-kick which Neil Latimer drove past goalkeeper Stuart Pettit.

Midway through the opening half, Kyle Walker was also on target and although the Cumbrians had a lot of possession, they were unable to penetrate the well-organised Washington defence.

Morpeth Town moved to fourth-top following a 5-2 win against Brandon United at Craik Park.

Eddie Dines and Michael Chilton fired their side into a two-goal lead but before the interval captain Alex Wilson threw Brandon a lifeline.

Chilton made it three but then struck the post from the penalty spot. The prolific scorer though was not to be denied his hat-trick, beating goalkeeper Andrew Wilkinson on 63 minutes.

Glen Hendrix reduced the deficit but just before the whistle any hopes Brandon had ended as Morpeth went nap courtesy of Ryan Hutchinson.

Whitley Bay reached the final of the Northumberland FA Senior Cup with a 4-3 win over Bedlington Terriers.

Paul Chow rifled a hat-trick with Paul Robinson on target to give the Seahorses what appeared to be an unassailable lead but in the second half Terriers fired back through Paul Brayson (pen) and Phil Bannister with a brace.

H Sunderland RCA manager Neil Hixon will hand debuts to two players in tonight’s Ebac Northern League First Division game at Billingham Synthonia.

Michael Pattison came in from Chester-le-Street a couple of weeks ago but has so far been unavailable while Kevin Gordon this week moved from Seaham Red Star.

We were down to the bare bones last midweek and in addition to bringing in Kevin and Michael, I also signed goalkeeper Jonathon Ball from Whitley Bay who made his debut at Spennymoor Town.

Spennymoor Town’s fixture with Hebburn Town has been postponed meaning that Jason Ainsley’s side will have a clear week ahead of their FA Carlsberg Vase Semi Final first leg tie at Guernsey on Saturday.

In Division Two, Jarrow Roofing have the chance to close in on second top Ryhope CW when they line up with seventh top Seaham Red Star.

The only absentee from Richie McLoughlin’s side is Andrew Appleby who won’t play again this season after suffering a broken leg.

Red Star signed Daryl Donnelly last week and he made his debut in Saturday’s win over Alnwick Town. He is also signed by Blyth Spartans and will play for Red Star when not required by Evo Stik League side.

Birtley Town boss Scott Oliver reckons his side is just about clear of the threat of relegation.

He said: “I think we are just about there after winning three of our last four games. I thought we gave our best performance of the season at the weekend when we defeated West Allotment Celtic who were unbeaten in 12 games.

“Now that the pressure is off we are looking forward to playing the remaining games in a relaxed atmosphere.”

Birtley go to Darlington RA who are in with a chance of claiming one of the three promotion places.

Scott Garrett and Steve Graham are added to the squad but Andy Hunter, Scott Wallace, Ben Johnson and Ryan Arnott are all out.

Arnott will not play again this season after suffering knee ligament damage five minutes after going on when he made his return at the weekend.