Ryhope CW could not kill off bottom club Billingham Synthonia in an entertainINg 1-1 draw in the Ebac Northern League First Division last night.
Relegated Synners took the lead in the seventh minute, when Foster Garton found the net, but James Ellis equalised on 28 minutes, when his shot from outside the box beat keeper Michael Algie.
Home keeper Jonny Ball made some important saves to deny the visitors a second goal, while Ryhope went closest when sub Kyle Davis’s 77th-minute free-kick hit the underside of the bar and bounced clear.
Bishop Auckland picked up a welcome point in their fight for survival when they held title-chasing Marske United to a 0-0 draw at Heritage Park.
Marske are now 11 points behind Morpeth, with six games in hand. Bishops are five points above third-bottom Jarrow Roofing, having played a game more.
Wembley-bound Stockton Town cruised to an impressive 4-1 win at Newcastle Benfield.
Jamie Owens fired the Teessiders ahead with a volley in the 15th minute.
Max Craggs doubled their lead, direct from a free-kick, on 67 minutes and Joe Carter made the game safe six minutes later.
Scott McCarthy grabbed a late consolation for the hosts, but James Risbrough immediately made it 4-1.
Chester-le-Street drew 3-3 at relegation-threatened Brandon United in an entertaining Second Division clash.
The Cestrians went ahead as early as the third minute, when Kevin Dixon fired home.
Alex White doubled their lead after 20 minutes. But Brandon rallied strongly as Daniel Pearson quickly pulled a goal back, and they levelled moments later, when Kevin Dixon struck.
Chester went ahead again on 34 minutes, when White scored his second goal, but Lee Blades made it 3-3 on 63 minutes.
Whickham’s promotion push suffered a big setback with a 3-0 defeat at Heaton Stannington.
Dean Imray headed the opener, before Jonathan Wright made it 2-0 with a neat finish after 36 minutes.
Abu Salim made the game safe for Heaton in the 69th minute, when he followed up his own initial shot, which was saved, and tapped it home.
Hebburn Town clinched their place in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup semi-finals with a hard-fought 3-1 victory at Thornaby last night.
Scott Oliver’s men took the lead, in the battle of two of the top sides in the Ebac Northern League Second Division, when Paul Chow headed home after 25 minutes.
Just after half-time, Channon North turned the ball home to double Hebburn’s lead, and Chow made it three before Josh Simpson scored a late consolation for Thornaby.