WASHINGTON are expected to challenge for promotion from the Ebac Northern League Second Division.
The Newtowners, with former Sunderland RCA boss Neil Hixon part of the management team alongside Stephen Hutchinson, continued their build-up to the new season with an impressive 2-0 victory over Durham City at New Ferens Park on Saturday.
Adam McGuinness fired Washington in front after only five minutes and City were again rocked when Mark Davison drove into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area 15 minutes later.
Hixon’s old club succumbed to Team Northumbria, who were relegated to the ENL Second Division last season. Lewis Storey twice beat RCA goalkeeper Josh Carmichael and the Wearsiders failed to reply.
Last season’s Wearside League champions Stockton Town and runners-up Ryhope CW were involved in a goalless draw on Teesside, while Silksworth CW edged a 1-0 win over neighbours Hall Farm when Liam Gill scored the only goal after 76 minutes.
There was no shortage of goals at Welfare Park where Easington Colliery saw off a strong challenge from South Shields.
The Mariners were twice in front courtesy of Barrie Smith and Kyle Houshby before a strong second-half performance earned the Colliers a 3-2 win. Mark Catcheside (pen) and a brace from Liam Beeston, including a superby taken free-kick for the winner, edged the hosts to victory.
Seaham Red Star were up against a strong Ashington side and Mark Collingwood’s team held out until the hour mark when they conceded a penalty which Marc Walton converted.
Ten minutes later, he was again on target and, from then on, the Northumbrians comfortably defended a two-goal lead.
Spennymoor Town, gearing up for life in the EvoStik League, were too good for Glossop at the Brewery Field. Goals by Liam Henderson and Dan Taylor (pen) will have encouraged manager Jason Ainsley that his Northern League champions can cope with a step up the pyramid.
Sean Tarling, Danny Brunskill and Ben Dodds were on target in Bishop Auckland’s win at Armthorpe Welfare and, in one of the biggest wins of the day, Brandon United went nap at home to Chemfica, thanks to young Jeremy Allen (2), Dixon, John Harrison (pen) and Craig Roberts.
Esh Winning were hit for five at Consett despite taking the lead with a Luke Wilson spot-kick. Luke Sullivan rifled a hat-trick and Michael Mackay, a regular scorer last season, scored twice.
Darlington 1883 went down 2-1 at Billingham Synthonia, whose marksmen were Dan Dillon (pen) and Michael Sweet before Stephen Thompson replied from the spot two minutes from time.
Despite cancelling out goals by trialist Callum Ball and James Marwood, Blyth Spartans ended 4-2 losers to Scottish Premiership outfit St Mirren, whose other scorers were Ross Caldwell and Mark Williams late in the game. Neal Hooks and Paul Robinson notched for Tom Wade’s Spartans in front of a baked 447-strong crowd.