Northern League: McCain and Waters give Washington breathing space at the foot of Division One
Washington eased their relegation fears with an excellent 2-0 home win over West Allotment Celtic in Division One of the Ebac Northern League last night.
The Mechanics climbed five points clear of the drop zone, despite remaining in fifth-bottom spot, while Allotment stay second-bottom.
Washington took the lead in the 56th minute after Mark Costello played the ball to Jake Fowler. He then passed towards striker Paul Kane, who played a great dummy which allowed George McCain to slide the ball home past goalkeeper Christopher Bannon.
The points were made safe for Neil Hixon’s side when Matthew Waters burst clear of the Celtic defence and confidently slipped the ball past Bannon in the 89th minute.
Washington are back in action on Saturday, with eighth-top Whitley Bay visiting the Nissan Sports Complex, while West Allotment have a crucial home clash with sixth-bottom Jarrow Roofing.
Morpeth Town heaped the pressure on North Shields and South Shields at the top of the table, following a comfortable 4-0 home win over bottom club Guisborough Town.
Morpeth took the lead in the 18th minute when Keith Graydon’s free-kick, after a foul on Joe Walton took a huge deflection off Pennal to beat luckless goalkeeper James Dawson.
Early in the second half, Dawson denied the Morpeth attack with some brilliant goalkeeping, but, on 52 minutes, it was 2-0 when Liam Henderson broke through and found the bottom corner of the visitors’ net.
Morpeth made it 3-0 in the 71st minute when Walton slotted Henderson through and he fired a first-time shot into the roof of the net.
Steven Anderson swept home a late fourth goal.
Morpeth are third on 44 points, three points behind second-top South Shields with two games in hand. North Shields are eight points ahead of the Mariners, who have two games in hand on the Robins.
North Shields’ scheduled game at defending champions Shildon was postponed because of snow, while a waterlogged pitch forced a call-off at Penrith, where Dunston UTS were the visitors.
In Division Two, Billingham Synthonia moved up to third place with a comprehensive 5-1 win over bottom club Esh Winning.
Synners scored first in the 33rd minute when Liam O’Sullivan’s cross found ex-Ryhope CW striker Conor Winter to fire the ball home.
Esh scored a shock equaliser on 51 minutes, when a left-wing corner found Andrew Clarkson and he beat goalkeeper Guy Craggs.
However, Synners immediately regained the lead just a minute later, when Danny Brunskill fired home a loose ball following a goalmouth scramble.
It was then 3-1 on 64 minutes, when a long throw from O’Sullivan was not cleared and David Hillerby smashed the ball home.
Winter scored his second in the 79th minute, pouncing after a defensive mistake to make it 4-1, and then Macaulay Langstaff fired home from the edge of the box, following Jordan Wilson’s cross.
Both scheduled Wearside League games, including Ashbrooke Belford House’s home clash with Cumbrians Cleator Moor Celtic, were cancelled due to waterlogged pitches.