Silksworth CW boosted their chances of a top-four finish with a comfortable win against Gateshead Leam Rangers in the only Wearside League fixture to take place on Saturday.
Will Crew’s side had to do things the hard way as Leam Rangers took a slender lead into half-time thanks to a Joe Hunter goal.
Silksworth overturned the deficit in the early-stages of the second-half, with goals from Harry Munday and John Maddison, but parity was restored by an equaliser from Shaun Bell.
But that was as good as it got for the hosts as James Cook, Stephen Moody and Ahmed Elhazary all found the net to help the visitors to a 5-2 win.
Silksworth coach Michael Curtis praised his side for their mature performance in the adverse weather conditions on the south bank of the Tyne.
“We were into the wind in the first-half and that was very difficult.
“Everything was coming into our area and they scored direct from a corner, but it’s fair to say they were on top for the majority of the half.
“We were sat deep, and we couldn’t get out at times, but we kept at it.
“We managed to keep the score down to one and that was a big positive for us.
“It was a scrap and we got drawn into trying to play at 100 miles an hour, which isn’t our game.
“We want to play and there was a frustration in the dressing-room at half-time.
“But we knew that we could get on the front-foot in the second-half.
“We were in control after their equaliser and we took advantage of the conditions more effectively than they did.
“The lads showed a lot of maturity to get a good win.”
The three points keep Silksworth in seventh place in the table, but they have moved within touching distance of fourth-placed Harton and Westoe CW.
Curtis believes that a top-four finish is “achievable”, but stressed that playing in three cup finals could harm his side’s chances of overhauling the three sides above them in the table.
“We just want to finish fourth or fifth now, but we need to win our games in hand.
“If we keep playing like we are, and winning games, it is achievable.
“We need to keep players fit and fresh and that won’t be easy with the big games we have coming up.”
Next up for Silksworth is next Friday’s Durham Trophy Final against local rivals Sunderland West End.
Curtis insisted that Anthony Nelson’s side are the favourites to win the competition, but urged his side to have a “good go” against the current Wearside League leaders.
“They are favourites, they are probably going to be promoted and they will expect to beat us.
“We feel like we are closer to them than we have been, and our squad has matured.
“They have taken on board a lot of things we have told them, and we are more solid defensively.
“We are confident, we are going to give it a good go, but it won’t be easy.”