A TOP-SIX Ebac Northern League First Division finish is now well within the reach of Durham City after they defeated Guisborough Town with a last-gasp penalty at New Ferens Park on Saturday.
Adam Furness’s side was first to strike when Josh Gray converted a cross from Ian Ward, but a draw looked the likely outcome following Luke Bytheway’s 83rd-minute shot from 10 yards.
The game was into the second minute of added time when Denver Morris was brought down. Scott Fenwick kept his cool to fire the spot-kick into the top corner of the net. giving goalkeeper Dan Dixon no chance.
Durham are now in seventh position, six points behind Guisborough.
There’s no change at the top of the table, although Celtic Nation extended their lead over Shildon to three points when they defeated Penrith in the Cumbrian derby.
Willie Gibson was an early marksman and after James Patterson doubled the lead, former Spennymoor player Michael Rae ensured there was no way back for Penrith, who remain fifth from the basement.
There was another local derby at Dean Street where Spennymoor Town trailed for more than 50 minutes before ending with a share of the points.
Mark Hudson fired Shildon into a 22nd-minute lead and on 72 minutes Lee Paul Scroggins was shown a second yellow card.
Spennymoor immediately made the numerical advantage count with Liam Henderson firing in the equaliser. Just before the end, he almost snatched victory with a close-range header that flashed wide of the woodwork.
Bedlington Terriers eased their position near the bottom, defeating fifth-top Ashington with an only goal by David Brown, who beat goalkeeper Karl Dryden in the 13th minute.
Bedlington keeper Sean McCafferty produced good saves from James Taylor and Glen Taylor and when he was beaten late in the game, Andrew Leeson cleared Andrew Johnson’s shot off the line.
Team Northumbria would have moved out of the bottom three if they had held onto a two-goal lead at Crook Town. Mark Fenwick and Louis Storey had their side comfortably in front and looked certain winners when the game went into the last minute.
Craig Hughes threw Crook a lifeline and, in the second minute of stoppage time, Mark Ellison rocked Team by claiming the equaliser.
Newcastle Benfield led by three goals from Paul Brayson (2) and Stephen Baptist inside the opening half hour but then had to withstand a spirited fightback by Whitley Bay before winning 3-2. Paul Chow reduced the deficit with a 34th-minute penalty and when he was again on target with 20 minutes left, it was anyone’s game but Benfield held on.