Northern League: Washington make welcome point, but it could have been all three against Sunderland RCA

Washington striker Vinny Gash (red) tries to create an opening against Sunderland RCA on Saturday. Picture by Tim Richardson
Washington striker Vinny Gash (red) tries to create an opening against Sunderland RCA on Saturday. Picture by Tim Richardson
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Washington picked up a welcome First Division point from Saturday’s derby at home to Sunderland RCA.

But it could have been all three points for Michael Laws’ men at Nissan.

A tight first half ended with the Mechanics ahead, thanks to a 32nd-minute strike from Vinny Gash which went under the dive of keeper Keith Finch, after great determination from Callum Dent.

RCA came out fired up for the second half and Clayton Davis hit the bar before having a well-taken effort from the right disallowed for offside.

In between, Washington’s Alex White had a header cleared off the line.

A costly mistake by home keeper Daniel Gladstone led to the visitors’ equaliser on 62 minutes, when he tried to use footwork to beat RCA’s Colin Larkin, only for the Irishman to rob him and score with ease.

RCA pressed for a second goal, with Pascal Chimbonda putting his body on the line to block one strike, but Washington held firm and they had the better chances in the closing stages.

Gash had a shot deflected wide after a good link with Jak Hanson, before Davis missed a fine chance for a last-gasp RCA winner.

RCA manager Martin Swales was not a happy man after the game: “To say I’m disappointed is an understatement.

“In the first half, we were very poor, then in the second half we got a lot better, but we missed chances and just couldn’t put the game to bed, or get the second goal.

“It was very, very disappointing not to get the three points.”

Washington, who remain 12 points adrift of safety, are back in action tonight, with a trip to Team Northumbria.

RCA host second-top Marske United tomorrow.

Ryhope CW were heavily beaten by visitors North Shields, with Craig McFarlane’s hat-trick inspiring the Robins’ 6-2 success.

However, it all started so brightly for Gary Pearson’s men as Ryhope’s new signing from Shildon, experienced striker Mickey Rae opened the scoring with a 12-yard strike past Sean McCafferty in the very first minute.

Dean Holmes levelled in the ninth minute, blasting his effort past Jonny Ball after a good flick by Ben Harmison.

Ball made a fine stop to deny Richard Pell before Kyle Davis hit the bar for Ryhope and McCafferty did well to keep out Rae’s follow-up.

Two McFarlane goals either side of half-time gave the Robins a 3-1 lead.

He first struck with an outstanding, curling 25-yarder, then slotted home in the first minute of the second half.

Rae pulled one back for the home side, latching onto a long ball forward and showing his strength to fire home.

But Harmison quickly hit the visitors’ fourth goal after a costly slip by Ball.

McFarlane completed his hat-trick from close range, following Adam Forster’s centre, before Rae almost bagged a hat-trick, only to see his strike just miss the target.

Sub Lee Mason hit North Shields’ sixth goal on 80 minutes.

Shildon had a bad day at the office and dropped to fourth, after a surprising 3-1 home defeat to struggling Jarrow Roofing.

Liam Anderson struck for Richie McLoughlin’s men in the 17th minute and Dennis Knight doubled the lead, when he broke free to score.

Anderson made it 3-0 just after half-time, with Shildon managing only one consolation, an own goal from Olly Martin as the Roofing defender tried to tidy up a saved penalty.

The Railwaymen had their chances, with Daniel Moore and Matty Waters heading wide and Roofing keeper Shaun Newbrook producing an excellent save to keep out an acrobatic Waters effort.

Shildon’s woe was confirmed when James Harwood was red-carded for a last-man challenge late on.

Consett are now joint third, following a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Dunston UTS.

The visitors struck first, however, when Scott Heslop netted in the second minute.

Michael Sweet and David Dowson scored in the space of five minutes to put the Steelmen into a 2-1 lead and Michael MacKay made it three just before half-time.

Arjun Purewal headed in Consett’s killer fourth goal on the hour mark.

West Auckland regained sixth place with a hard-earned 2-1 success at in-form Penrith.

Alex Francis gave West the lead on 17 minutes, but substitute Andrew Murray-Jones equaliser. three minutes into the second half.

Kyle May was then sent off for Penrith and the visitors took full advantage, when Nathan Fisher stabbed home the winner with 13 minutes to go.

Stockton Town dropped to seventh place after going down 5-2 at home to impressive Whitley Bay, who moved up to eighth.

Matthew Cornish and Tom Potter gave Bay a 2-0 lead, but the Anchors fought back well to level through James Risbrough and Jamie Owens.

However, the visitors finished strongly and second-half strikes from Callum Johnston, Aiden Haley and Josh Nearney sealed their win.

Billingham Synthonia lost 6-0 at home to rampant leaders Morpeth Town.

Ben Sayer and Joe Walton gave the Highwaymen a 2-0 half-time lead, but the floodgates opened in the second half, when Sean Taylor and a hat-trick from Mark Davison sealed an easy win.

Morpeth now have an 18-point advantage at the top.

Newton Aycliffe led with Craig Hutchinson’s 21st-minute strike at Guisborough Town, but Nathan Steel’s header levelled things up 13 minutes later as it ended 1-1.

Team Northumbria rocked Ashington with a 3-1 victory, to move away from the relegation area.

Damien Stevens gave the Colliers a 25th-minute lead, but Josh Bynoe equalised nine minutes later.

Andrei Ardelean gave Team Northumbria the lead right on half time and Ben Dibb-Fuller sealed the win, early in the second half.

Marske United cruised past Hinckley in their delayed Buildbase FA Vase tie to set up a fifth round tie at home to Western League side Bradford Town.

Marske switched the game to Billingham Town to make sure the game was played, and they eased to victory with goals from Adam Wheatley, Craig Gott (penalty), Leon Carling, Chay Liddle and Mikey Roberts.

Newcastle Benfield exited the Vase, going down 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 extra-time draw in their replay at Midlands side Coleshill Town.

The tie ended goalless after 90 minutes, but Benfield took the lead through Luke Carr early in extra time. Luke Edwards, though, quickly equalised.