Sunderland RCA manager Martin Swales paid tribute to striker Mark Davison after he brought up a century of goals for the club in Saturday’s home win against Bishop Auckland.
RCA completed a league double over the title-chasing Two Blues as Davison’s and Colin Larkin’s first-half goals gave their side a 2-0 win at Meadow Park.
The win keeps Swales’ side in contention for a top-four place in the Northern League’s top tier and the RCA boss believes that Davison will have a big part to play between now and the end of the season.
He told The Echo: “He’s a massive part of the side and he’s a local lad.
“He has been around at other clubs and won the league a couple of times, but he came back. He is a pleasure to work with, he trains very well, and I can’t speak highly enough of him.
“I think he has matured, and he would have hit that mark a month ago if he hadn’t had so many niggles with injuries.
“It was a big win for us and Mark more than played his part with a strong display. He will be key for us throughout the remainder of the season.”
Seaham Red Star continued their recent resurgence with a 4-3 home win against struggling Ashington.
Mark Collingwood’s side were made to work for their third consecutive win as the Colliers threatened to make a comeback after going into half time with a two-goal deficit.
Goals from Liam Gillesphey and Paul Gardiner put Red Star in control at the interval, but the visitors raced back into the game and were level within the first 10 minutes of the second half thanks to strikes from Jack Butler and Chris Youldon.
Dan Wilson and Nathan Greenwood found the net as Red Star regained the initiative and they held on to claim the points, despite Youldon pulling one back from the penalty spot in injury time.
Collingwood admitted that his side got a monkey off their back by beating a team in and around them in the table.
He said: “We should have been out of sight at half time, but we got lazy and complacent.
“It was a lazy start to the second half and that nearly cost us. I don’t worry when we play the likes of Consett, North Shields and Dunston UTS.
“It’s games like this that I worry about, we struggle against those in and around us.
“I didn’t care how we did it, it was just a case of getting the points and getting the monkey off our back.”
Jon Weirs was Ryhope CW’s matchwinner as they saw off Guisborough Town at the KGV Stadium.
Jack Devlin put Ryhope ahead on 12 minutes, but Lee Bythway got the hosts back on level terms on the half-hour mark.
But it was Gary Pearson’s side that claimed the points thanks to Weirs’ winner 10 minutes from time.
Scott Heslop scored twice and there was a goal apiece from Mark Fitzpatrick and Dan Capewell as Dunston UTS took a big step towards the Division One title with a 4-2 home win against local rivals Whickham.
Whitley Bay manager Mick Mulhern was relieved of his services after Hebburn Town romped to a 9-0 win at Hillheads.
Former South Shields striker Luke Sullivan led the way with four goals, Michael Richardson scored twice and Graeme Armstrong, Louis Storey and Paul Chow also found the net for the Hornets.
Penrith claimed their first home win of the season as Martyn Coleman, Max Brown and Shaun Gardiner were on target in their 3-1 win against Stockton Town.
Stuart Elliott continued his impressive start to life in the dugout with Newcastle Benfield as Paul Brayson scored twice in their 3-1 win at North Shields.
The Northern League will be without a club in the FA Vase Final for the first time in 11 years after West Auckland Town succumbed to Combined Counties Premier Division side Chertsey Town, who punished a below-par performance with goals from Dale Binns and Jake Baxter.