SUNDERLAND RCA’s position at the wrong end of Division One did not worsen despite succumbing to a 3-1 defeat at title contenders Marske United on Saturday.
Marske roared into a three-goal lead inside 30 minutes, courtesy of Danny Brunskill (2) and Jamie Owens. There were only six minutes left when Joe Hughes pulled one back for RCA.
With Crook Town already relegated and Celtic Nation almost certain to join them in Division Two next season, Billingham Synthonia are in grave danger of becoming the third side to go down.
They have only ever played one season in the Second Division, but, with only three games to play, are third-bottom, level on points with RCA, who have five games in hand.
Synners, though, are not going down without a fight. They looked dead and buried when they leaked three goals to Dunston UTS’s Andy Bulford (2) and Dan Smith. A second-half fightback was rewarded with strikes by Michael Sweet and Martyn Woodhouse, but they were unable to claim an equaliser.
West Allotment Celtic, who were without a game, and Newton Aycliffe are also struggling.
Aycliffe were well beaten by leaders Guisborough Town, who romped to a 4-0 win courtesy of Danny Earl (2), Curtis Round and James Risborough.
The shock of the day was Durham City’s 6-0 hammering at Morpeth Town at Craik Park.
The Citizens’ defence just could not cope and suffered their heaviest defeat in years as the goals rained in from Michael Chilton, with a brace, Dan Taggart, Sean Taylor, Luke Carr and Jordan Fry.
Guisborough are four points ahead of West Auckland, who kept alive their title hopes by defeating Newcastle Benfield 2-0 thanks to goals from Stephen Richardson and Tom White.
Third-placed Shildon, with three games in hand on the leading pair, have the destination of the championship in their own hands.
They were taken to the wire by Penrith, though, and only just edged a 2-1 victory at Dean Street, despite being two up by the 19th minute.
Lee Paul Scroggins and Billy Greulich Smith scored for the Railwaymen and after Willie Paul threw Penrith a lifeline on 66 minutes, Shildon had some anxious moments in the final stages.
Marske United are also in the frame, as are North Shields, but they could be distracted by reaching the final of the FA Carlsberg Vase.
The Robins will play Glossop North End at Wembley in May after defeating Highworth Town 2-0 in the semi-final second leg, watched by a full house of 1,500 fans, to go through 3-0 on aggregate.
Gareth Bainbridge and Dean Holmes scored in the last 13 minutes.