Over-40s League: Cotton picks his moment to inspire Easington CIU into pole position
Easington CIU enjoyed had an excellent 5-1 win at Coxhoe Red Lion to sit top in Division One with three victories out of three.
CIU took the lead after half an hour when Scott Burns scored from close range, but Coxhoe equalised with a stunning 30-yard free-kick early in the second half.
Easington went straight up the other end and Tommy Wilkinson rifled in a 20-yarder. Five minutes later, Burns made it 3-1 with a fine solo goal.
Man of the match Lee Cotton scored from the edge of the box on the hour and, with five minutes remaining, Burns completed his hat-trick.
Ferryhill Greyhound are level on points with CIU after a 1-0 victory at Consett, while Grindon Broadway were held 2-2 by South Shields and Hylton CW drew 2-2 with Whitley Bay Seahorse.
Seaham Marlborough were beaten 5-1 by visitors Hartlepool Gillen Arms, grabbing their goal when they were only two down.
Dubmire WMC went down 3-2 at Thornley Celtic.
In the Premier Division, Washington Victoria Inn should have won, but they were beaten 2-1 by visitors Hebburn Town.
Poor finishing and scrappy defending cost Victoria, whose strikers, Gary Allison and Justin Kirtley, squandered four gilt-edged chances.
Hebburn striker James Maccoy headed home for the opener, and, though Washington continued to dominate, the visitors grabbed a crucial second goal when star man Maccoy tapped in the rebound after a cross was pushed into the bar.
Victoria missed two more glaring chances before Kirtley slotted home to ensure a tense finish. Hebburn, however, held on to win. Andy Lumsden was top man for Victoria, who lost defender Neil Hood to a nasty head wound in the second half and praised Hebburn defender Colin Nesbitt for taking control of the situation.
Ryhope Foresters climbed into second place after a 4-1 home success against Penshaw Catholic Club.
Ryhope’s strong start brought a quickfire opener, with John Sutcliffe’s deflected efffort beating the keeper.
Simon Andrews turned on the edge of the box and fired into the cornerof the net to double the lead, but Penshaw instantly replied as a great long-range strike was superbly turned over the bar by Max Montgomery.
Penshaw chipped Montgomery brilliantly, capitalising on defensive confusion, to get back to 2-1.
But Steven “Trixie” Dickinson kept up his goal a decade average with a cracking left-foot strike as Ryhope regained control and Marcus Turnbull hit the post before Steven Halliday finished off a great move, which he started, by rounding the keeper to make it four.
Red House WMC secured a second draw, 3-3 at Wallsend Community, while
Wearmouth CW lost 5-2 at Premier champs Marden.
Rolls-Royce blew a two-goal interval lead as visitors Hartlepool Stag & Monkey hit back for a 2-2 Third Division draw.
Oddies were held 3-3 by Redcar Town, while Willow Pond drew 2-2 at Durham County Strollers and Washington JFC Biddick Inn lost 1-0 to visitors Redcar Old Boys.
Houghton Cricket earned their first victory, 5-3 at Wingate Grange.
The Philadelphia lost 5-2 at CSSC Darsley Park in Division Two, Mill View SC battled for a 3-3 draw at North Shields Pineapple and John Hogg Funerals were pipped 2-1 at Peterlee Helford.
Horden Sportsmans outgunned South Shields Catholic Club 4-0, while Pelton Crown edged home 3-2 against Durham Stonebridge.
In Division Four, Oddfellows Arms celebrated a brilliant 5-2 victory over Durham County, while Ivy Legends convincingly saw off Heighington Bay Horse 6-1.
Trimdon Vets succumbed 2-0 at Hartlepool Vets, while Colonel Prior drew 2-2 with Sedgefield, Wearmouth Old Boys did like wise against Hartlepool Jacksons Arms and Boldon Colliery Tavern squeezed home 3-2 at Billingham Vets.