Bishop Auckland responded to the demand from manager Colin Myers to get off to a good start when they beat Whitley Bay 4-0 at Heritage Park on Saturday to take off some of the pressure in their relegation fight in the Ebac Northern League First Division.
Bishops were thumped 6-0 in midweek by Sunderland RCA after getting off to a bad start, but a goal in just the 2nd minute set them up for a valuable win.
“The lads had a point to prove after the midweek defeat,” Myers said. “The early goal settled the players and the crowd. It also helped having our regular centre halves and goalkeeper back.
“We have to keep on winning, but we know that our next game against Marske will be very tough. We have to keep on doing what we did on Saturday.”
Bishops got the start they wanted after just 29 seconds, when Chris Winn scored from the edge of the box, but Whitley were denied the equaliser when efforts by Callum Johnston and Tom Potter hit the woodwork.
Bishops went 2-0 up with a great effort by Tom McAloon before half-time, and an early goal in the second half, when Darren Richardson headed home after McAloon hit the bar, put them well in control.
McAloon finished off Bay with a low shot for the fourth on 68 minutes.
Bishops are now fifth-from-bottom, four points above Jarrow Roofing who have a game in hand.
They have now leap-frogged over Seaham Red Star, who lost 2-1 at home to West Auckland Town.
Seaham are a point behind with two games in hand.
West took the lead just before half-time when Marc Doninger glanced in Arran Wearmouth’s cross – their 100th league goal of the season – and they went 2-0 up soon after half-time when Dan Parker headed in Adam Mitchell’s cross.
Seaham pulled a goal back near the end through Thomas Scott, but they have now lost their last four matches.
West Auckland manager Gary Forrest said; “Another win to consolidate a top three finish. Some tired legs but quite comfortable apart from soft goal in last few mins that put us under pressure.”
West are nicely in third place, ten points ahead of Shildon.
Newton Aycliffe did Bishops a favour by drawing 2-2 at third-bottom Jarrow Roofing.
Roofing got off to a great start when Dennis Knight scored from long range, but Aycliffe got back into it with a strike by Craig Hutchinson before half-time.
Thibault Charmey fired Aycliffe into the lead with 9 minutes left, but John Campbell levelled from the spot in the last minute.
Newton Aycliffe manager Deano Browne said; “We started poor yet again and deserved to be 1-0 down. We started to improve after a tactical change and grew into the game. We looked like we were going take all three points after shading the second half, but another individual mistake handed Jarrow a point. It was quite an even game.”
Penrith, another of the teams battling the drop, beat relegated Billingham Synthonia 2-0 to stay just ahead of Bishops, while Guisborough Town look safe after beating Ryhope CW 2-1.
At the top, Morpeth are now twelve points clear of Marske United after they beat Consett 4-1, while Marske were held to a 1-1 draw at North Shields. Marske have seven games in hand and play four times this week.
Buildbase FA Vase finalists Stockton Town won 3-0 at relegated Washington.
In the Second Division, Northallerton Town lost a bad-tempered top of the table clash against Whickham by 3-2 and drop to third.
Chad Collins put Whickham into the lead with an overhead kick, and then made it 2-0 from the post.
There was a fracas in the tunnel at half-time which meant that Shaun Hudson of Northallerton and Kallum Broadhead of Whickham were sent-off.
Chris Dickinson missed a penalty for Northallerton on 65 minutes, but 3 minutes later he pulled a goal back. However, Andy Bulford made it 3-1 with a penalty for Whickham, and Aaron Ramsbottom’s late goal wasn’t enough.
Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “It was a frustrating afternoon. We were poor in the first half, but we were much better in the second half and I thought we deserved a draw.”
Darlington RA have dropped back into the bottom two after they lost 5-3 at home to Bedlington Terriers.
They were 2-0 down by the 10th minute, but James Connor and Chris Tarn got them back into the game. However, Bedlington went 4-2 up before Dominic Joynes pulled another goal back before Bedlington made the game safe.
Darlington RA assistant-manager Mike Colman said; “It was a tough basement battle in which Bedlington scored two in a minute after a bright start from RA! A shocking decision cost RA early in the second half which saw Bedlington go 3-2 up.”
Brandon United leap-frogged over RA into third-bottom spot on goal difference after winning 1-0 at bottom club Alnwick Town, Craig Ruddy scoring their goal.
Brandon manager Steve Skinner said; “It was great to get three points especially with us being down to the bare bones and me playing again “The lads were fantastic with the number of people we had out injured, and I couldn’t have asked for any more. The biggest disappointment is we lost three lads through injury what puts us down to twelve players. We just have to stick together and see what happens as a group they have come a long way in the last six weeks.”
Crook Town are now well away from the bottom two after beating West Allotment Celtic 3-2 at Consett’s ground.
Ryan McGorrigan put Allotment in front after 22 minutes, but Ryan Coles and Adam Lee-Shields hit back for Crook.
Dean Walker levelled from the spot on 77 minutes, but Dan Quine scored the winner with 6 minutes left.
Crook manager Chris Lax said; “It’s been a tough week, three games in five days, six points out of nine could easily have been seven, but we will take six. There’s a new confidence within the squad.”
Willington beat Easington Colliery 2-0 at Hall Lane with goals by Matty Moffat and Michael Brown.
Manager Rob Lee said; “I was pleased with the three points. Both teams played some good football on a hard surface.”
Esh Winning striker Daniel Kent scored all three of his side’s goals in their win at Jarrow, scoring two of them in the space of three minutes after Jarrow had taken the lead.
Esh Winning manager Tony Boakes said; “We were down to twelve players for various reasons, but I couldn’t have asked for more commitment from the team.”
Chester-le-Street went down 3-1 at Billingham Town after Callum Greaves had given them a half-time lead.
Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “I was really pleased with the performance of the lads, they gave me everything. Four games in seven days took their toll in the last five minutes but we should have been a couple up before they scored the winner, but poor finishing let us down. I was pleased with the performance but not the result.”
Durham City lost 4-2 at Heaton Stannington, for whom Jon Wright scored all four.
Kieran McWaters and Craig Hennis scored for Durham, whose manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “I was disappointed with the result. However, I was pleased with the performance. We deserved so much more, and I just commend the players on the bravery to play the game the correct way. We moved the ball and created really good chances, but it just wasn’t our day.”
Tow Law Town lost 3-1 at home to Hebburn Town to drop them into eighth place.
Daniel Robinson and Gary Shaw put Hebburn 2-0 up by half-time, then Callum Smith made it 3-1 before the hour-mark.
Lewis Teasdale scored a late consolation.