Sunderland RCA slip as rivals win

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SUNDERLAND RCA slipped down to fifth-bottom spot in the Ebac Northern League First Division as a result of Morpeth Town’s 3-1 victory over Crook Town last night.

Stephen Forster latched onto a through ball and drove into the bottom corner of the net wide of Crook goalkeeper Barry Poskett for Morpeth’s opener after only eight minutes.

Just before the interval, hesitation in the Morpeth defence presented Adam Nichols with space and he drove a leveller past Steven Mundy from close range.

Morpeth regained the lead as Chris Jewels headed in at the far post from Forster’s corner, then Scott Swanston lobbed the clincher from fully 35 yards.

Crook and Morpeth are level on points, immediately above RCA, who are seven points clear of third-bottom Team Northumbria.

Already relegated Hebburn Town sprang a shock when they own 1-0 at Newcastle Benfield.

The only goal came in the 51st minute when Scott Wallace lobbed debutant goalkeeper Sam Busby, who spared Benfield further blushes when he made a fantastic save to keep out a David Smith penalty.

Leaders Celtic Nation remain out in front following their 2-0 victory at Newton Aycliffe, thanks to goals by Peter Murphy and Michael Rae.

Shildon nudged ahead of Spennymoor Town into second place when they edged Dunston UTS 1-0 in a closely-fought game at Dean Street.

The breakthrough came on 53 minutes when Paul Connor flicked the ball on to Ben Wood, who fired past Liam Connell.

Craig Ruddy hit the crossbar for Shildon and, just before the end, Dunston had a chance but nobody could get a touch on the ball as it flashed across the six-yard box.

In Division Two, West Allotment Celtic moved into third place, only a point behind Seaham Red Star, after defeating South Shields 3-2.

David Dormand was an early scorer with a good finish from the edge of the box, but the Mariners quickly equalised with a clinical finish by Peter Kane.

Kane then headed in to give the visitors a half-time advantage. But, after Sean Reid levelled with a brilliant 25-yard free-kick, Celtic took all three points as Dormand headed home seven minutes from time.