Ward’s a real City slicker with classy hat-trick

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DURHAM City turned on the style to hand out a 5-1 beating to hosts Newton Aycliffe, drawing level with seventh-top Consett in Division One of the Ebac Northern League last night, writes MALCOLM PRATT.

For the opening goal, Aycliffe keeper Andrew Spence turned a Scott Fenwick effort onto the crossbar, but, when the ball rebounded, Jordan Galloway was perfectly placed to head home.

Adam Furness’s side went two up on 20 minutes. Mark Wood brought down Ian Ward and Fenwick gave Spence no chance from the penalty spot.

Just before the interval, Ollie Hotchkiss floated a good ball into the box and Ward headed in City’s third goal.

In the second half, Ward beat his marker and slotted home for 4-0, and seven minutes from time he completed a flowing four-man move for his hat-trick.

Aycliffe managed a consolation goal from Tom Atkinson, who rifled the ball into the top corner of the net wide of keeper Dean Caris.

 It has not been a good week for Sunderland RCA.

Beaten on Monday night by First Division relegation rivals Team Northumbria, the Wearsiders’ plight worsened last night when Bedlington Terriers defeated Morpeth Town.

Both teams are near the bottom and a draw would have been the best result for David Lee’s Meadow Park men, but Bedlington edged victory with an only goal, Darren Williamson scoring with a close-range effort which gave keeper Stephen Mundy no chance.

Terriers are now seventh-bottom but still only five points ahead of Team Northumbria, who occupy the last relegation place.

Morpeth Town, meanwhile, have slipped to fifth-bottom, a point ahead of Sunderland RCA and two clear of Team Northumbria.

Penrith remain in the bottom six despite battling back for a 2-2 draw at Newcastle Benfield, who led 2-0 thanks to efforts from Paul Brayson and Michael Riley. Cameron Wilson and Grant Davidson rallied the Cumbrians in the final few minutes.

Brandon United, third bottom in Division Two, produced one of the shock results of the season when they defeated leaders North Shields in the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup.

The only goal came in the last minute as Alex Wilson drove the ball out of the reach of keeper Michael Robinson.

After enjoying a 13-match winning sequence, North Shields have lost their last two games as their hopes of a league and cup double came to an end.