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Ray Simpson`s Northern League Review….

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West Auckland Town striker Nathan Fisher scored his second hat-trick in as many games to help his side stake their Ebac Northern League First Division title credentials when they thumped Penrith 5-1 on Saturday.

West have scored 14 goals in their first two league games, and Fisher, who was signed from Spennymoor Town during the summer and brought with him a goalscoring record of a goal every two games, showed that he can be an even more prolific scorer at this lower level with another hat-trick.

Manager Gary Forrest said; “It was a good win, we played really well in spells. Nathan showed why we signed him, he was top quality.”

West, who have signed defender Ross Colquhoun from neighbours Bishop Auckland, took the lead after 6 minutes when Ben Wood set up Fisher to score, then Fisher exchanged passes with Adam Mitchell and crossed for Arran Wearmouth to make it 2-0.

Adam Mitchell, on loan from Vanarama National League North side Spennymoor Town, curled the third on the half-hour mark, and at the start of the second half Fisher fired the fourth.

He completed his hat-trick with a lob over the Penrith keeper.

The Cumbrians pulled a goal back, but West gained ample revenge for their Emirates FA Cup defeat last weekend.

Shildon also have two wins from two league games after they held off a second half fight-back at Jarrow Roofing, winning 3-2.

They missed some good chances before Adam Burnicle blasted home from a few yards, then Matty Robson fired his third goal of the season.

Burnicle scored a great third from just inside the area before half-time, but in the second half Roofing recovered, and Dan Kirkup pulled two goals back.

However, Shildon held on for their second away win of the week.

Shildon manager Danny Moore said; “We were very good in the first half and could have had four or five, but in the second half we were average.”

Newton Aycliffe threw away a lead for the second successive league game when they drew 3-3 with Guisborough Town at Moore Lane.

They were coasting at half-time. Kurt and Matthews and Matty Pennal had them 2-0 up inside the first 14 minutes, and Craig Hutchinson scored a third before the break.

But Guisborough showed their character and battled back in the second half, with goals by Connor Smith (2) and Steve Roberts.

Newton Aycliffe manager Deano Browne said; “It was the proverbial game of two halves. We dominated the first half and should have been five or six up, then we switched off second half and fair play to Guisborough they put a shift in second half and dominated. They won every second ball and finished well.”

Bishop Auckland had a day to forget against Newcastle Benfield, losing 7-3 at Heritage Park, collapsing in the second half for the second game running.

Bishops were 3-2 up at one stage, but they fell away. Andre Bennett, Thomas McAloon and Priestley Griffiths scored for Bishops, with replies by Marc Doninger and John Campbell, but Benfield scored two goals in a minute before half-time through Campbell and Richie Slaughter, and in the second half Campbell completed his hat-trick with Doninger and Lewis Scorgie scoring further goals.

Tow Law Town are joint top of the Second Division after they came from 3-2 down to beat Brandon United 5-3 at Ironworks Road, but spare a thought for Brandon striker Vinny Gash, who scored a hat-trick but finished on the losing side.

Lawyers had defender Liam Whitworth sent-off after 80 minutes when they were 4-3 down, but they still scored a fifth through Lewis Harrison.

Dean Thexton scored twice in the first half for Tow Law, with Harrison and Lewis Brown getting the others.

Tow Law manager Steve Murray said; “It was a poor performance, but great character and that means a good first week of the season.”

Durham City have a 100 per cent record in their two games after they beat Alnwick Town 2-0 at Hall Lane, with goals by Nicky Allen and an own goal.

Durham manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “We didn’t play to the level we can, but we did well to win the game. We had lots of possession but didn’t make many chances in the first half. We made more chances in the second half and need to convert more, but I was delighted with the attitude of the players to get another win.”

Esh Winning had a good 1-1 draw with Heaton Stannington at Waterhouses.

Jonathan Wright put Heaton into the lead, but Max Stoker equalised with an excellent long-range shot.

Esh Winning manager Tony Boakes said; “It was a great team effort today from start to finish. We battled well against a top team and got a well-deserved point from a superb 40-yarder from the captain.”

Darlington RA lost 1-0 at Thornaby to leave them fourth bottom of the table, Mark Sims missing a penalty in the first half that proved costly.

“It was a poor performance, we’re looking now to change things for our next game,” said manager Peter Mulcaster.

Chester-le-Street lost 2-1 at Bedlington Terriers, even though they took a first half lead through Keagan Spencer.

Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “We were very poor from start to finish, we were fortunate to go in 1-0 up at half time, but never came out again in the second half. There was no real quality in the game and we didn’t deserve anything from it for our laboured performance.”

Northallerton Town just got the better of West Allotment Celtic by 4-3 at Ainderby Road to go fourth in the table.

Stephen Cheeseman (2), Aaron Ramsbottom and Colin Anderson scored their goals, and they just managed to hold on to 3-1 and 4-2 advantages.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “It was a good win. We’re bedding in nicely, a few errors but nothing to be concerned about yet. We go again and build on the foundations that we’re laying”.

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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