Ryhope rally keeps Swales’ men on top

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RYHOPE CW enjoy a two-point lead in the Ebac Northern League Second Division after defeating Alnwick Town in a seven-goal thriller – coming from behind in style.

Although John Butler’s penalty cancelled out Chris Moffit’s fifth-minute strike for Alnwick, Martin Swales’ side trailed 3-1 at the interval following a brace of goals by Wyn Fremlin.

The Wearsiders staged a matchwinning second-half rally. Butler cut the deficit and soon afterwards Chris Winn levelled. With 15 minutes remaining, substitute Nathan O’Neill was on target with the winner.

Northallerton are second after beating Birtley Town 4-0. Stephen Butterworth bagged a brace with Adam Emson and Carl Chillingsworth also on target.

Birtley were forced to substitute injured goalkeeper Neil Bussey at half-time with Andrew Mallinson.

Washington, beaten 4-2 by North Shields, never fully recovered after leaking three first-half goals to Stuart Wright, Jonathan Hall and Keith Douglas (penalty).

From then on, North Shields were always in the ascendancy even though John Wears threw the Newtowners a lifeline with a 62nd-minute strike.

Adam Forster restored the Robins’ three-goal cushion and there was only a minute remaining when Dan Young hit the hosts’ second.

Esh Winning went down at Morpeth Town, where Andrew Keenan scored the only goal, while two goals in the last few minutes from David Paul and Steve Little (own goal) secured Crook Town’s 4-2 victory at West Allotment Celtic.

Twice ahead courtesy of Kyle Davis and Kevin Devine, Crook were pegged back by Liam Hudson and Dean Lee.

Darlington 1883 are back on top of Division One at West Auckland’s expense. Former Sunderland player David Dowson grabbed the only goal to sink Newton Aycliffe in front of a 1,389 crowd.

Champions Spennymoor are up to third following a 2-0 victory at Newcastle Benfield where Gavin Cogden and Michael Laws netted.

Bishop Auckland, with five wins in six games, are fourth. Sonny Andrews, Aaron Wearmouth and James Harwood secured a 3-1 win at Bedlington Terriers, with Stuart Elliott replying.