Easington Colliery’s Second Division promotion challenge is fading.
Paul Frame’s men slipped 11 points adrift of the third promotion place, with 12 games to go, after a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Darlington RA, who moved off the foot of the table with their point
RA stormed in front on 20 minutes when a fine cross caused panic in the Easington defence and the luckless Shane O’Brien headed into his own net.
Luke Page, who hit the post early in the game, equalised on 52 minutes, when he fired home via the underside of the bar.
Easington pushed for a winner, but RA survived, despite Liam Adamson, Aidan Goodey and Ian Redman all going close.
Fourth-placed Durham City kept their promotion challenge alive with a 3-1 win at Crook Town, who are only three points above bottom spot.
City opened the scoring through Kieran Harnett, but Christian Holliday equalised. Jack Wilkie and Matthew Smith, though, scored late in the second half to secure City’s success.
Willington are looking over their shoulders after losing 3-0 at home to high-flying Team Northumbria, who moved back into pole position with the win.
Two goals from Robert Spence, and a further Ben Dibb-Fuller effort, did the damage as they moved three points clear at the top, following Stockton Town’s postponement at Blyth Town.
Willington are just six points above the relegation trapdoor.
Third-placed Billingham Synthonia demolished Northallerton Town 7-1.
A hat-trick from former Ryhope CW striker Conor Winterwas the highlight of the game, followed by goals from Nathan Mulligan, Joe Hillerby, Josh Rowbotham and Macauley Langstaff. Tom Atkinson hit the visitors’ reply.
Tow Law Town were convincing 4-0 winners at home to relegation threatened Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.
Jordan Lee’s brace led the way, supported by goals from Dean Thexton and debutant substitute Matty Moffat.
Esh Winning’s run of good form came to an end, when they lost 3-0 at Whickham to drop back to bottom spot.
Mark Fitzpatrick was the home side’s hero, with a double either side of half-time. John Martin scored the other goal.
Brandon United played out a goalless draw, at home to Alnwick Town to move up to sixth-bottom spot.
Craig Malley’s looping header and a dramatic, last-minute winner from James Talbot steered Hebburn Town home 2-1 against Thornaby.