Northern League: Allotment success drops Durham City into First Division drop zone

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Durham City dropped into the Ebac Northern League First Division relegation zone for the first time this season following West Allotment Celtic’s 2-1 win in last night’s Tyneside derby at Newcastle Benfield.

Allotment made a perfect start, taking a fifth-minute lead. A long ball from Stephen Young found Shaun McRoberts down the right and he cut inside before crashing the ball past keeper Andrew Grainger.

Right on half-time, Benfield equalised when Paul Brayson’s 20-yard free-kick cannoned off the wall and Carl Patterson delivered a left-foot drive into the top corner of the net.

Just before the end, Allotment clinched three crucial points, when a left-wing corner was headed home at the back post by centre-half Kyle Dobson.

Allotment leapfrogged Durham City and Whitley Bay with the win and are now fifth-bottom, having been locked in the bottom three for several weeks.

In Division Two, Birtley Town’s struggles continue and they lost for the 18th time in 26 games when improving Hebburn Town ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.

Marc Costello headed across goalkeeper Mark Fish on 13 minutes and, shortly before the interval, James Talbot struck with a similar finish.

Birtley tightened up at the back during the second half but conceded a last-minute third goal to Calvin McMahon, who drove in from close-range.

Stokesley SC’s plight continues and they remain rooted to the bottom of the table. Their latest reverse came at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, who won 2-0 as Sam Moore and Gavin Cox scored in the opening 24 minutes.

Brandon United exited the Cameron Brewery Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup following a five-goal thriller at home to Bedlington Terriers.

Terriers built up a two-goal cushion through Tony Stephenson and Marc Walton, but Brandon battled back to level with two goals in nine minutes from Kieran Duffy-Weeks and Lewis Turnbull.

Nine minutes from time, Brandon’s hopes of an upset were dashed when Walton fired past goalkeeper Richard O’Brien from the penalty spot.