Sunderland RCA open up a four point lead in the STL Nortern League

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SUNDERLAND RCA go marching on and victory at Billingham Town enabled them to stretch their lead at the top of the STL Northern League First Division to four points.

Mark Davison crashed an unstoppable shot into the net on 45 minutes but in first-half stoppage time, Stephen Roberts headed in the home side’s equaliser.

Two former Billingham players returned to haunt their old club.

Andy Jennings headed Neil Hixon’s side in front for a second time and after Michael Arthur chipped goalkeeper Gary Hoggeth for another equaliser, Brian Stewart also scored against his ex-colleagues.

Jennings then completed a good individual performance with his second goal 11 minutes from time and thereafter, the Wearsiders held on for a comfortable 4-2 victory.

Dunston UTS jumped nine places into third position, a point behind Newcastle Benfield, with a six-goal mauling of Marske United.

Anthony Hume produced the outstanding performance of the night, rifling four goals with Chris Swailes and Lee McAndrew also on target.

Chris McGill gave the Seasiders a fourth-minute lead but they trailed 6-1 until the 88th minute when Carl Charlton scored a second consolation goal.

Substitute Gareth Bainbridge was Ashington’s matchwinner at home to Guisborough Town.

He became involved after 66 minutes and five minutes later broke the deadlock.

With eight minutes left on the clock, Bainbridge made sure of Ashington recording their first win in six games.

In Division Two, an only goal on 44 minutes by Glen Reay earned Chester-le-Street the points at home to Horden CW, who were denied a late equaliser by the brilliance of Cestrian goalkeeper Kyle Barlow.

Seaham Red Star and Brandon United were involved in a goalless draw while Washington missed the opportunity to go top, when they were beaten at Thornaby.

Michael Latimer was an early scorer for the Newtowners but within a minute, Ian Clark levelled from the penalty spot.

In the last minute, Graeme Baverstock set up Stephen Ashton and he fired past Washington goalkeeper Daniel Regan for the winner.

An 89th-minute goal from Brian Murray earned Alnwick Town a point at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, who led with Mark Eccles’ 44th-minute strike.

Darlington RA stay in pole position despite being held to a draw at Gillford Park whose marksmen were Mattie Lee and Michael Reid. Wayne Allison bagged a brace of goals for the visitors.

Team Northumbria moved to second top with victory at Whickham, where former Washington striker Peter Watling scored both goals after Tony Thirkell had opened the scoring for The Glebe side.

Hebburn Town won the FA Cup Preliminary Round replay at Whitehaven with four first-half goals from Stuart Wright (2), Chris Tate and Tony Stephenson. Mark Holliday and Scott Pears replied in the second period.

South Shields and Newcastle Benfield will replay their tie next Tuesday following a floodlight failure at Filtrona Park.

The referee called a halt during the interval with the score 2-2. The Mariners were twice ahead courtesy of Tony Burnell and Alex Benjamin with Scott Fenwick and Michael Rodenby (og), replying.