RESULTS could hardly have gone better for Sunderland RCA at the weekend.
They were without a fixture, but three of their four rivals for the STL Northern League championship conceded valuable points.
The only one of the top five teams to win was Whitley Bay.
The match of the day between Spennymoor Town and leaders West Auckland Town finished all-square.
Adam Johnston fired Moors into a 32nd-minute lead, but just before the hour mark Mattie Moffat robbed a defender and rounded goalkeeper Robert Dean for the equaliser. In the last minute Moors had Lewis Dodds red-carded.
Fifth-placed Dunston UTS met Bedlington Terriers for the second time in less than a week and again shared the points in a goalless draw.
Goals were also scarce at Tow Law Town, where Whitley Bay bounced back following two consecutive defeats to keep their slim title hopes alive.
However, after taking a sixth-minute lead through Chris Fawcett, they were stretched all the way against their relegation-threatened hosts.
Newton Aycliffe remain sixth following victory over Marske United with goals in the opening eight minutes from Ben Wood (pen) and Dale Jardine.
At the other end of the table, Stokesley SC are virtually doomed after suffering yet another defeat at Ashington, whose marksmen were Marc Walton (2) and Andrew Johnson.
Jarrow Roofing’s hopes have been boosted with two wins in three games.
South Shields looked on course for victory when Jordan Fraser and David Colvin scored in the first 20 minutes.
However, Roofing struck three times in five minutes. Calvin McMahon converted a penalty and a minute later Paul Robinson equalised. Right on the stroke of half-time Kris Hughes netted the winner.
Penrith are now fourth from bottom after going down at Guisborough Town, who led with two goals from Jamie Poole before Scott Allison replied three minutes from the end.
Billingham Town’s chances were improved with victory at Shildon, who led through former Durham City player Josh Home Jackson.
With only five minutes remaining, Jamie Owens restored parity and in stoppage time he headed in a corner.
In Division Two, the three East Durham sides are in the bottom three.
Easington Colliery prop up the table after losing to fourth-from-basement Brandon United.
Michael Nichol, Mark Ferguson, Scott Hine and Paul Moss (og) were their marksmen, with Easington’s only reply coming from Robert Huntley.
Bobby Orton’s Horden CW led through Stephen Ferguson, but then conceded three goals in the last 15 minutes to West Allotment Celtic’s Dean Reid, Sean Reed (pen) and Chris Hutchinson.
Seaham Red Star lost to promotion hopefuls Hebburn Town, who won thanks to Alex Benjamin.
James Fairley volleyed in after 55 minutes for Chester-le-Street, but within a minute Colin Anderson was on the mark for Northallerton Town.
At the top, Team Northumbria are firm favourites to be promoted to Division One for the first time.
Peter Watling bagged a brace of goals in the victory over Alnwick Town.
Gillford Park are second and they coasted to all three points at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion when Mark Butler, Graeme Anthony and Wayne Hoolickin were on target before Ross Atkinson replied.
Darlington RA and North Shields shared a 1-1 draw.
Scott Blandford’s header looked to have won the game for the Robins, but in the last minute Freddie Huscroft fired in the equaliser.
Hebburn Town are fourth and Birtley Town are equal on points after they twice came from behind to defeat Morpeth Town with goals by Danny Smart (pen), Michael Hall (og), Kevin Dixon and Reece Darwin. Jordan Fry and Ashley McAlpine were the visitors’ scorers.
Washington enjoyed victory at Esh Winning, where Lee Hamilton and Chris Cape struck before Keiron Megran converted a late penalty.
H BILLINGHAM Synthonia went out of the FA Carlsberg Vase in the Fifth Round replay at Bournemouth.
They led on 20 minutes through Robbie Bettson and early in the second half Danny Earl had a penalty saved.
Max Cream equalised on 70 minutes and seven minutes from the end Fawzi Saadi clinched a home tie for Bournemouth against West Auckland Town.
Dunston UTS are the only other STL team through to the quarter finals and they will visit Peterborough Northern Star.