Over-40s League: Hixon sets seal on stirring Blue House victory

Durham City Strollers (blue) score against Colonel Prior in the Over-40s League last week. Picture by David Allan
Durham City Strollers (blue) score against Colonel Prior in the Over-40s League last week. Picture by David Allan
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BLUE House are showing real character in their fight to beat the drop in Division Two.

The Sunderland side climbed off the bottom of the table thanks to a spirited 3-2 win against Cobblers Hall.

Ashley Hodgson impressed in the build-up for Mill View’s second goal, with man of the match Gavin Kirk clipping the ball over the oncoming keeper

Two goals from Eddie Brown and a tremendous 25-yard strike from Neil Hixon saw them move level with Houghton Cricket Club and Wingate Constitutional on 18 points – with three other teams within four points.

Stevie Dunlop stood out at the back for Blue House in only their fourth league win of the campaign. The only problem was that all their relegation rivals also picked up points.

Houghton Cricket earned a 2-2 draw against Coxhoe Red Lion, while Wingate Cons rallied from two down to draw 2-2 with Hylton CW.

Barry Speckman’s cross-cum-shot went in to halve Wingate’s deficit, then Eddie Glaister’s cross was handled and Mark Collins despatched the resulting penalty.

North Shields Pineapple bolstered their survival push, rising to 20 points with a 3-2 defeat of Seaham.

Mill View SC kept their promotion dream alive in Division Three, comfortably defeating Shildon Grey Horse 3-0.

Mill started well and, after some good interplay in midfield, Clifton Thompson scored with a low drive.

Ashley Hodgson impressed in the build-up for the second goal, with man of the match Gavin Kirk clipping the ball over the oncoming keeper.

Shildon rallied in the the second half without troubling Mill’s keeper, but Thompson had the last word, heading a killer third goal from close range.

Bobby Brewster playing his first game back from a long-term injury and was excellent in defence.

Thornley Celtic walloped Hartlepool Greenside 5-0 to go top of the table on 51 points, following Horden Sportsmans’ 3-1 loss to impressive Willow Pond. Horden are on 49, with Mill View on 48, but cruciallu having played three games more.

The Philadelphia went down 2-0 at Hartlepool Stag & Monkey, with Andy Copeman and Steve Gofton, heading in a perfect Brendan Deer cross, doing the damage.

Washington JFC Biddick Inn lost 1-0 to Wallsend Winstons, while Boldon Colliery Tavern climbed to 10th place by beating Trimdon Vets 3-1.

Oddies had to scrap hard to maintain their eight-point lead in Division Four.

They went 1-0 up with Colin Cowen’s strike against Ivy Legends, who levelled from the penalty spot.

Ivy were awarded another penalty, with Oddies reduced to 10 men, but they missed it. Oddies played well in the second half, despite their man disadvantage, and Cowen’s second goal secured all three points.

Rolls-Royce are third, three points behind Sedgefield Black Lion, after a tight 1-0 success at Hartlepool Vets, scrambling home the only goal on the hour mark. Colonel Prior lost 3-1 to Durham City Strollers, who climbed two places to ninth.

Penshaw Catholic Club completed the double over Pelton Crown to go clear at the top in Division One, with a good performance in a 3-1 home win.

John Milner who opened the scoring from Jon Cullen’s pass, then Cullen made it 2-0, getting on the end of a great ball by Peter Elliott.

Pelton pulled one back with a great second-half strike from Chris Moody, but Cullen finished the game off, latching on to a long ball from defence and rounding the keeper to score.

Ian Burnett starred for Penshaw, with Moody best for Crown.

Ryhope Foresters eased to a 4-0 win over bottom club Gateshead Rutherford, while Dubmire forced a 0-0 draw with second-top Heaton Stannington.

Red House WMC won 2-0 at Easington CIU to condemn their hosts to a bottom-placed finish in the Premier Division. Victory saw the Wearsiders consolidate fifth place.

Spennymoor Salvin Arms were 4-0 up, thanks to goals from man of the match Geoff Young (2), Steve Baker and Mick Quinn, before Hebburn Town decided to play. Terry Smith, Chris Neill and Tony Tatum pulled three back, but Salvins held on to win 4-3.

Second Division leaders Wearmouth CW clinched an ironside Cup semi-final spot, thumping Blakelaw SC 4-0.

Humbledon & Plains Farm exited 3-1 to North Ormesby Vets, while Durham Stonebridge lost by the same score at CSSC Darsley Park.

Peterlee Helford completed last-four line-up, overcoming South Shields Catholic Club 4-2.

Paul Watson capitalised on a goalkeeping error to slot home, then his deflected shot soon made it two. He then completed his second hat-trick in consecutive matches, finishing off a fine team move, with David McAteer adding a killer fourth goal after Shields reduced the arrears.

Ian Broom and Billy Robson were commanding in midfield.