Whickham moved top of Division Two in the Ebac Northern League last night, even if only temporarily, thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Esh Winning.
After a tight first period, the home side were on top from the start of the second half and took the lead on 52 minutes, when Andy Bulford smashed a left-foot beauty from outside the box past goalkeeper Carl Robinson, and in off the bar.
Daniel Candish had a decent chance to make it 2-0, following good work from Bulford, but his effort was tipped over the bar, and David Clasper then headed over from a corner.
Ross Peareth had shot deflected onto the post, following good work from substitute Joe Mole.
With 10 minutes to go, Esh had a great chance to equalise when substitute Daniel Kent broke through, but his shot did not threaten Whickham’s goal.
Shortly afterwards, they had the ball in the net, but it was ruled offside and Whickham held on for the three points.
In Division One, North Shields missed the chance to climb to third place when they lost 4-3 in a thriller at home to mid-table Newcastle Benfield.
Jack Devlin, Paul Brayson, Jake Orrell and Scott McCarthy, in the last minute, saw Benfield home, after the Robins hit back from 3-1 down to level thanks to a brilliant Ben Harmison hat-trick.