Northern League: It’s Proctor feelgood as last-gasp RCA rock Robins

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Sunderland RCA are up to the dizzy heights of eighth place in the Ebac Northern League First Division after last night’s 2-1 win over North Shields at the Daren Persson Stadium.

Stephen Callan fired the visitors into a ninth-minute lead and, on 34 minutes, manager Martin Swales breathed a sigh of relief as on-loan Sunderland goalkeeper James Talbot saved a Ben Richardson penalty.

Irish youngster Talbot, though, was powerless in preventing Dan Wilson from slotting in the equaliser for the FA Vase holders after an hour, but, a minute from time, RCA celebrated when substitute Luke Proctor squeezed the ball into the net through a crowded goalmouth to clinch a dramatic victory.

There’s still no stopping Washington, who are up to third – five points behind leaders Shildon with three games in hand.

The newly-promoted Mechanics, though, had their work cut out at third-bottom West Allotment Celtic even though they had the boost of an early strike by John Butler.

Allotment gave their best performance of the season, but their hopes of a giant-killing act wilted just before the end when they were caught on the counter-attack by Mark Davison, who made the final score 2-0.

That give Steven Hutchinson’s men six wins out of seven in the league, with the other game drawn.

Durham City have now lost six of their 10 games after succumbing to Shildon, whose marksmen in a 3-0 victory were Ben Wood, with a brace, and Billy Greulich Smith.

Easington Colliery remain sixth in Division Two after going down 2-0 at Billingham Synthonia. Mattie Osmond was a first-half scorer, but the game was into added time when Joe Taylor struck the vital second goal for Synners.

An Andy Clarkson hat-trick featured in Birtley Town’s 3-1 success at home to Brandon United, for whom Vinny Gash claimed a consolation goal.

Chester-le-Street dropped back to second place and Team Northumbria are the new leaders after they saw off bottom club Stokesley SC 4-0, thanks to strikes from Ben Dibb-Fuller (2), David Luke and Joel Bradley.

There are two Second Division matches scheduled for tomorrow night, including the derby between old rivals Willington and Crook Town, with a big crowd sure to be at Hall Lane.