ONLY three games went ahead but there were still significant results which affected both the top and bottom of the Wearside League table.
Ryhope CW were winners of the Wearside derby against Ashbrooke Belford House to extend their lead to five points, although second-top Stockton Town have a game in hand.
Ashbrooke held their own for the opening half hour but then conceded three times in the space of only nine minutes.
Nathan O’Neil broke the deadlock, converting a penalty awarded after he had been brought down and soon afterwards Callum Charlton tapped into the net to double the visitors’ lead.
Worse was to follow for Ashbrooke when Bryan Norton drove home on 41 minutes and early in the second half they went down to 10 men with the dismissal of Dale Wells for a handling offence.
To their credit, the home side worked hard and were rewarded with a consolation goal by Stuart Burton, whose tremendous shot from 35 yards flew into the net.
Ryhope, with ambitions of making an immediate return to the Ebac Northern League, are on course to become the first side to rack up 100 goals. Their 22 games have yielded 93 and they’ve conceded a miserly 14 times. They also boast the only unbeaten record.
There was a change at the bottom of the table following Hartlepool’s win over Coxhoe Athletic. The outcome was decided by an only goal scored in the 24th minute by Sean Ross, who lobbed goalkeeper Carl Morris from outside the penalty area.
Pool are now second from the basement and Coxhoe are bottom with just one point separating the pair.
Boldon CA’s ground was waterlogged ,but they agreed with Horden CW to switch the fixture to Welfare Park, where the Colliers secured a 2-0 victory.
Andrew Lonsdale headed in at the back post on 45 minutes following good work by Paul Moss and Michael Cockburn.
Boldon had the wind to their advantage in the second period and pressed forward searching for an equaliser, but they were caught on the break by Chris Tarn, who beat goalkeeper Chris Anderson for the second, crucial goal.
Horden are now eighth from top – their highest position at any stage of the season.