Northern League: Robins’ defeat to Morpeth opens up First Division title race

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Morpeth Town’s 2-0 win over leaders North Shields last night has opened the Ebac Northern League First Division title race.

The FA Vase holders’ superb display produced a deserved victory. They now trail North Shields by 14 points and have five games in hand.

South Shields are five points behind North Shields, with two extra games to play.

Liam Henderson’s tremendous opener in the 18th minute gave Town the lead, when his shot from the edge of the box beat keeper Karl Dryden and found the top right-hand corner of the net.

On 34 minutes, Keith Graydon made it 2-0 with an excellent 25-yarder to seal the three points.

Newcastle Benfield were 2-0 winners at home to second-bottom neighbours West Allotment Celtic.

Paul Brayson, with a direct free-kick from 29 yards, opened the scoring for Benfield, beating visiting goalkeeper Chris Bannon.

In the 70th minute, Ryu Williamson crossed to find Brayson, who turned his defender and slotted home.

Billingham Synthonia bolstered their promotion hopes in Division Two, battling for a 1-1 draw at Blyth Town.

Liam Gillesphey opened the scoring with a screamer of a shot which found the net, giving Guy Craggs, in the Synners goal, no chance.

Synthonia were awarded a penalty in the 38th minute, though, and Max Craggs converted past Matthew Crook to earn the visitors a deserved draw.

Synners are fourth in the table on 34 points, one point outside the promotion places but with three matches in hand. Newcomers Blyth’s point took them up to sixth place.

Richmond Town rose to second place in the TWR Bifolds Wearside League with a comfortable 3-0 win at bottom club Harton and Westoe.

Jason Newell’s effort following a corner in the 10th minute gave Town the lead. Harton stayed in the game until Stephen Butterworth slotted home a rebound in the box, on 75 minutes.

Nathan O’Connor fired home right-footed three minutes from time for 3-0.

Annfield Plain leapfrogged mid-table hosts Stokesley SC with a 3-1 away win, thanks to Kai Hewitson’s brilliant hat-trick, with goals in the 52nd, 61st and 88th minutes.

Ryan Rivis hit the hosts’ consolation.