Ryhope win again as Northern League campaign moves closer

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RYHOPE CW, who will play in the Second Division of the Ebac Northern League for the first time, maintained their impressive build-up to the new season with a 3-1 victory over First Division opponents Norton and Stockton Ancients.

John Butler, Mark Catcheside and Michael Charlton, who played for Belford House last season, earned Martin Swales’ side a fourth consecutive victory.

Peterlee Town agreed at the 11th hour, to play Percy Main when the Tynesiders’ original opponents pulled out of the game.

Despite having little time in which to assemble a squad, the Newtowners romped home as five players, Kris Johnson, Danny Makin, Ryan Mather, Martin Hope and Tom Smurthwaite, all struck.

New signing James Alston scored both Silksworth Rangers’ goals but Heddon, from the Northern Alliance, won 5-2 on Wearside.

Chester le Street succumbed to FA Carlsberg Vase beaten finalists West Auckland Town whose matchwinners were John Campbell, Elliott Gardner and Chris Carr.

It was stalemate at New Ferens Park where neither Durham City nor Morpeth Town found the net - although between them they hit the woodwork four times.

Birtley Town are enjoying a good build-up to the new campaign with Jarrow their latest victims. James Allsopp and an own goal proved sufficient with Brian Johnson replying.

Horden CW went down at Newcastle Benfield whose marksmen were Mark Turnbull, Kevin Leighton and Scott Fenwick.

Before Saturday, Bishop Auckland were encouraged by their form but they were no match for a strong FC United of Manchester team which cruised home 6-0 at Heritage Park.

Esh Winning crashed at Spennymoor Town who strolled to victory thanks to Stephen Richardson, with a brace, Danny Moore and Phil Airey.

In the East Durham Cup, Easington Colliery lost out to Hartlepool whose matchwinners were Craig Risburry, Lee Mohan and Craig Hutchinson. Ryan Boardman claimed a consolation for the Colliers.