ALTHOUGH they crashed to a five-goal defeat at Morpeth Town, it wasn’t all bad news for Sunderland RCA on Saturday since not one of the bottom seven sides in the First Division won.
It was clearly not a good day for the Wearsiders, though and David Lee’s men remain fifth-from-bottom in Division One, just four points outside the drop zone.
Their problems started early at Craik Park when Stephen Forster drove past goalkeeper Jonathan Carmichael after only 10 minutes.
Man-of-the-match Forster then doubled the lead five minutes later with a great strike into the roof of the net.
RCA tightened up at the back and early in the second half had more of the possession.
Gavin Barton got the ball into the home net, but his effort was ruled offside and RCA’s hopes of saving the game ended when they conceded twice in the space of a minute.
Substitute Andrew Wright drew Carmichael to score after outpacing defenders in a long run on goal and, almost immediately another, sub Scott Swanston broke clear and, for the second time in 60 seconds, Carmichael was left exposed.
Morpeth went nap in the last minute when Forster completed his hat-trick.
Relegated Billingham Town won for only the second time last midweek, but it was back to square one when they were hit for six by Bishop Auckland.
Former Ryhope CW striker John Butler led the way with a hat-trick, with Dean Douglas, Danny Brunskill and Danny Earl also on target.
Karl Richards celebrated his birthday scoring Town’s first goal and, just before the end, Michael Dalton managed a second.
Hebburn Town will almost certainly also play in Division Two next season, but they have improved recently and fully deserved a goalless draw at home to second-top Shildon.
Team Northumbria are third bottom. They took leaders Celtic Nation to the wire before losing by the odd goal in three. Martin Coleman and Danny Moore were the match-winners, with Peter Watling on target for Team Northumbria.
Penrith’s cause was not helped when Whitley Bay won 3-2 with goals by Jarrett Rivers, Tony Stephenson and David Berry. Steven Rigg and Shaun Gardner struck for the Cumbrians.
Matthew Osmond and Fred Woodhouse eased Billingham Synthonia to victory over Marske United, while Bedlington Terriers eased their position holding Crook Town to a 2-2 draw.
James Harmison and an own goal by Jack Norton earned them a vital point, with Lewis Teasdale twice on target for the Millfield side.
Spennymoor Town consolidated third position and are now just two points behind Shildon with three games in hand.
Liam Henderson (2) and Dan Taylor saw them home 3-1 in an entertaining clash at Durham City, who had taken the lead courtesy of Ian Ward.