Northern League: Late Bird takes Red Star into dizzy heights of third place

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Seaham Red Star reached the dizzy heights of third-top in Division One of the Ebac Northern League last night following last night’s 2-1 victory over Penrith.

A Kevin Connolly penalty had the Cumbrians ahead at the interval, but, within two minutes of the restart, Liam McBryde punished Penrith for poor defending.

With the watch ticking down, a draw looked likely, but, in the last minute, Robbie Bird superbly controlled a long clearance and slid the ball past Thomas Rush for Seaham’s winner.

Sunderland RCA aren’t in danger of being relegated, but it’s just as well they heaped plenty of points on the board before Christmas.

They have been in freefall for several weeks and last night crashed to another heavy defeat, 5-1 at Consett.

The Wearsiders trailed to Michael Sweet’s second-minute goal, but Colin Larkin converted a penalty equaliser.

A minute later, though, Consett had their noses in front again, although there was an element of luck in the goal. A Jordan Lavery corner was glanced goalwards by Calvin Smith and the ball found its way into the net off RCA player Liam Hatch.

At 2-1, the visitors were always in with a shout, but Danny Craggs hit a crucial third goal after 70 minutes.

The Steelmen coasted home as Sweet and Josh Gray also beat goalkeeper Cameron McCulloch in the closing stages.

Things are not looking good for Durham City, who remain locked in the relegation zone. Despite Tom Weedon cancelling out Paul Chow’s early strike, the Citizens stuttered to a 5-1 defeat away to Jarrow Roofing at Boldon.

Chow completed a hat-trick and Michael Mackay – what a great signing from Consett he is proving to be – bagged a brace. The defeat leaves City third-bottom. WIth only five games to play, they are nine points adrift of West Auckland.

Whitley Bay are not mathematically safe, but they are unlikely to be dragged into the relegation battle.

Despite Adam Shanks rifling a first-half hat-trick, they lost 5-3 to Dunston UTS, whose scorers were Malcolm Morien (2), Aristote Guerin, James Luccock and Steve Bowey.

In Division Two, a record Division Two gate of 1,827 saw South Shields take another step towards the championship by defeating Hebburn Town 2-0 at Mariners Park, with Martyn Coleman and Robert Briggs scoring.

Ryhope CW, 3-2 winners at home to Brandon United, stay second. Conor Winter (2) and Paul Braithwaite were the matchwinners, with David Rush and Adam Smith replying.

Chester-le-Street remain third, a point behind Ryhope, following a 1-0 victory over neighbours Birtley Town, Craig Marron firing home on 70 minutes.

Billingham Synthonia regained fourth place, defeating Billingham Town 4-2 thanks to Macaulay Langstaff (2), Chris Dickinson and Sam Garvie. Andrew Lambert and John Maddison responded.