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Ray Simpson`s Northern League Review

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Bishop Auckland manager Colin Myers says that his team still need three wins to avoid the drop from the Ebac Northern League First Division after they thumped bottom club Billingham Synthonia 5-2 on Saturday.

Myers described the game beforehand as a “must-win” and that certainly proved the case, as third-bottom Jarrow Roofing won 3-0 at Newcastle Benfield to keep the pressure on the Two Blues, who are now level on points with Penrith but with a worse goal difference.

“It was a very nervous first half from us,” said Myers. “In the second half we settled down a bit and apart from a mistake for their second goal we were quite comfortable.

“It was a good win, but we still need three more wins to be safe.”

Darren Richardson settled some of the nerves with a low shot after 12 minutes to put them into the lead, but Synners levelled just 3 minutes later with an effort by ben Jackson.

After Chris Winn hit the post for Bishops, they went 2-1 up before half-time when a shot by Thomas McAloon went into the net off Synners defender Richie Gaston.

Bishops didn’t break through again until the 67th minute when Winn finished off a good move, but Synners fought back with a goal by Joe Smith.

But Bishops finished strongly, and Winn caught Synners on the break for 4-2, and Michael Hoganson finished off a good run with a low shot into the bottom corner for the goal of the game.

Bishops’ next game is at home to Sunderland RCA on Wednesday night.

West Auckland Town enjoyed their second win of the week when they beat Ashington 3-0.

They took the lead after 8 minutes when Denver Morris crossed from the right for Anthony Bell to turn home, and on 36 minutes Adam Colquhoun side-footed in a free-kick from Adam Mitchell.

It was all over on 48 minutes when Lewis Dodds broke away and set up Bell to beat the keeper.

West striker Ben Wood broke his ankle late in the game.

Manager Gary Forrest said; “That was another good win to consolidate third place.”

West are third, three points ahead of Shildon, who comfortably won 6-0 at relegated Washington.

They took the lead in the opening minutes with a header by Billy Greulich-Smith from a corner, then Danny Moore headed the second, again from a corner. Greulich-Smith got his third before half-time, and after that, it was plain sailing. Jake Turnbull, former Washington player Matty Waters and Moore added further goals in the second half.

Player-manager Moore said; “The win keeps us on track for finishing in the top four. I want us to finish the season well.”

Newton Aycliffe’s home game with Sunderland RCA was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

Meanwhile, Marske United’s away game at Dunston UTS was also postponed, which means that they still have thirteen games to play by May 7th, leading to the possibility of them playing on four successive days.

They are currently fifteen points behind leaders Morpeth Town with eight games in hand – Morpeth won 5-1 at Ryhope CW on Saturday.

“It’s an absolute nightmare,” said Marske manager Carl Jarrett. “We’ve been told that we must finish our fixtures by May 7th because the FA is meeting on May 8th – can’t the FA put their meeting back a week? How can we be expected to play on four successive days?”

In the Second Division, Northallerton Town are joint top of the table after they came from 2-0 down to beat Tow Law Town 3-2 at Ainderby Road.

Lawyers took a 2nd minute lead through Rhys Harbottle, and Kai Hewitson made it 2-0 after 9 minutes.

But Northallerton hit back through Jack Proctor who scored from a free-kick, and then Stephen Jackson fired them level before half-time. Shaun Hudson then fired the winner with 4 minutes left.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “It was a great result. After a slow start we gradually got ourselves back into the game. We feel that our character will help us push on now until the end of the season.”

Tow Law manager Steve Murray said; “We’ve thrown away another two-goal lead. Unacceptable.”

Lawyers’ promotion hopes have now almost gone, as they are now thirteen points behind third-placed Whickham, with nine games remaining.

Durham City were easily beaten 5-1 at Hebburn Town after Jack Wilkie fired them level at 1-1 just after half-time.

Durham manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “I was disappointed with the result and performance. It was a very difficult task to play Thursday and Saturday and I must praise my players for their tireless work. Hebburn however deserved their win and I wish them the best for the rest of the season.”

Chester-le-Street had an excellent 7-2 away win at bottom club Alnwick Town, with goals by Michael Hepplewhite (2), Mark Peckham (2), Kieran Megran, Daniel McGuire and Josh King.

Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “The scoreline slightly flattered us, we played well offensively but defensively we were really poor and allowed Alnwick to be a threat all afternoon. But I was happy with the fitness levels after the recent mini break and happy with the win, but it should have been more comfortable that the score line suggests.”

Esh Winning were beaten by two second half goals from Kallum Hannah at home to Thornaby to drop them down to fifteenth place.

Esh Winning manager Tony Boakes said; “We were down to the bare bones. We only had eleven players who gave a good account of themselves. We lost to a free kick and a penalty.”

Willington are up to eighth after beating Billingham Town 3-1 at Hall Lane.

Conor Winter gave them a first-minute lead, with Elliott Beddow soon equalising.

But Matty Moffat and Damon Ellis scored in the second half for Rob Lee’s side.

Lee said; “Matty Moffat with our second changed the game and Damon Ellis with a header secured all three points. We’re very pleased with the result”.

Ray Simpson

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