THE race for the three promotion places in Division Two is hotting up.
North Shields maintained a five-point lead with victory over sixth-placed Norton and Stockton Ancients.
Twice ahead through Keiran Wrightson and John Parker, the Robins snatched all three points with a late winner by leading scorer Gareth Bainbridge, who earlier had a penalty saved. Dan O’Brien and Nick Martin replied for the Teessiders.
Jarrow Roofing stay second after putting four goals past Ryton and Crawcrook Albion. Paul Gardner, Liam McBryde, Dan Carson and Andy Appleby were the marksmen.
Third-top West Allotment Celtic saw off lowly Whitehaven with late strikes by Rob Nolan (pen) and David Henderson and Seaham Red Star are also in the promotion mix.
After establishing a two-goal lead courtesy of Conor Winter and Lee Kerr, they were pegged back by Whickham’s Ian Robson. Kerr scored again to give Mark Collingwood’s side a two-goal cushion and it wasn’t until added time that Stephen Aiston netted a second goal for the Glebemen.
Heaton Stannington, in fifth position, have several games in hand on the four sides above them.
They were taken to the wire by second-bottom Esh Winning and the only goal came on 14 minutes with a direct free-kick by Dean Deagle.
The local derby at the Nissan sports complex finished with honours even. David Southern and James Fairley had Washington two goals up but after Cameron Nichol reduced Birtley Town’s arrears, Dylan Morse headed in the equaliser two minutes from time.
Alnwick Town claimed an 88th-minute goal by Dale Kennedy at home to Chester-le-Street who led from the hour mark through Ronald Cunningham.