Title chasers rack up wins

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IT is a critical week for the three sides challenging for the STL Northern League championship after they all won at the weekend.

Leaders West Auckland Town host Whitley Bay tomorrow when second-top Spennymoor Town are at Bedlington Terriers and Dunston UTS visit Guisborough Town.

On Thursday night, Moors and West are involved in the semi-finals of the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup, when Dunston UTS will be on Wearside for a league fixture against one-time leaders Sunderland RCA.

West scored nine times in their previous game and another big win was on the cards when they entertained relegated Stokesley SC, who have conceded 169 goals.

Surprisingly, though, West managed only three goals from John Parker, Mattie Moffat and Danny Hindmarsh, although it would have been four had Stokesley goalkeeper Paul Hubbard had not saved a Mark Hudson penalty.

Spennymoor are second, four points adrift of the leaders with a game in hand.

Jason Ainsley’s side were taken to the wire by Newcastle Benfield, who were in with a chance when Brian Dodsworth reduced the two-goal lead established by Gavin Cogden.

After taking just one point from three games, Dunston UTS are still in with a chance of claiming top spot and promotion to Evo-Stik League Division One North.

A brace of goals from Stephen Goddard and one by Michael Chilton earned them a crucial victory over South Shields.

Along with Stokesley SC and Tow Law Town, Jarrow Roofing are relegated.

Their hopes of achieving a last-gasp escape ended in the final minute at Bedlington Terriers when Glen Robson hit the winner.

Paul Robinson had given Richie McLoughlin’s side the lead from the penalty spot and after Stephen Bowey levelled, Roofing pressed in search of a winner, but left the door open at the back.

Penrith secured their top-flight status, holding Ashington to a draw. Ben Jackson and Scott Allison were their saviours, with Marc Walton (pen) and Craig Scott on the mark for the Colliers.