Newton Aycliffe lost for the first time in nine matches when they were beaten by a last-minute goal at Sunderland Ryhope CW in the Ebac Northern League First Division on Saturday.
Aycliffe hadn’t lost since they were beaten 2-0 by Dunston UTS in mid-November, and they thought they’d salvaged a draw after coming back from 2-0 down at one point.
Newton Aycliffe manager Deano Browne said; “We were outclassed from first whistle to the last. Ryhope played really well, and their strengths were our weaknesses – there are no excuses. Ryhope deserved three points, we worked hard but never had any control on the game. It hurt to concede in the last minute but no arguments.”
James Ellis scored twice for Ryhope in the first 20 minutes, but Craig Hutchinson hit back with a pair by half time.
However, Ellis completed his hat-trick with just a minute left.
Bishop Auckland manager Colin Myers accused his players of a lack of passion after they lost 3-0 at home to ten-man Morpeth Town.
The league leaders had Keith Graydon dismissed just on half-time, but Morpeth were the better team in the second half and scored through Sean Taylor (2) and former Sunderland striker Steve Elliott before Luke Sullivan replied late on.
“I can’t understand it,” said Myers. “The players just didn’t kick on in the second half when Morpeth were down to ten men. We didn’t have a go at them, and instead Morpeth put us on the back foot. The players have to show more passion and heart.”
Bishops are six points above the relegation zone, and next Saturday face Ryhope CW who are a place below them in the table.
West Auckland Town are now just a point behind second place, thanks to a 2-0 win away win at Dunston UTS, where Nathan Fisher scored twice to give him 34 league goals for the season.
West Auckland manager Gary Forrest said; “It was a good solid win in difficult conditions. We ground the win out which is something we weren’t doing earlier in the season.”
Sixth placed Shildon are also pursuing second place after they beat Penrith 3-1 at Dean Street.
Adam Burnicle scored twice in the first 32 minutes, then Penrith had Adam Main sent-off.
Matthew Moynan put through his own goal for 3-0, before Connor Shields pulled a goal back.
Shildon manager Danny Moore said; “We’re pleased with the result considering the amount of injuries and players missing.”
Elsewhere in the division, Jarrow Roofing striker Dennis Knight scored four, but he still finished on the losing side by 6-5 at North Shields, of whom Marc Nash was in charge for the first time.
In the Second Division, leaders Northallerton Town had a good 3-1 away win at Chester-le-Street.
Aaron Ramsbottom fired them in front on 8 minutes, with Chris Dickinson finishing off a good move for the second on the half-hour mark.
Craig Marron pulled a goal back from the spot, before Dickinson headed the third on 73 minutes.
Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “We’re very pleased with the performance. All areas of the team contributed to what was a very positive result against a Chester side that challenged us all the way.”
Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “I was very disappointed with the performance from my players especially in the first half. We lacked any real desire to do the ugly things in football like defend as we were caught twice on the counter attack from our own set pieces. We were a little better second half but only marginally. Our quality was poor all game and really deserved nothing from the game. The disappointing thing was we didn’t make Northallerton win the game we gave it to them on a plate, and good luck to them on their drive for promotion.”
Northallerton are three points ahead of Blyth AFC, who needed a late goal to beat second-bottom Darlington RA.
The RA’s assistant-manager Mike Colman said; “It was a valiant display from RA who stuck to the game-plan and frustrated Blyth who were restricted to long range shots after spells with the ball. The sucker punch came 5 minutes from time and killer to the lads. It was a good response from the RA after the disappointing result last week.”
The RA are now just a point off the bottom, because Alnwick Town stunned Heaton Stannington with a 2-1 win.
Durham City lost to a late goal at Whickham.
Brad Hird put them 2-0 in front at half-time, thanks to two goals in a minute.
However, Whickham hit back at the start of the second Steven Aiston and Chad Collins, and 7 minutes into stoppage time Owen Lancaster fired the winner.
Brandon United missed a chance to move away from the bottom two when they lost 4-2 at Easington Colliery after being 2-0 up at one stage with goals by Lee Staples and Warren Byrne.
Brandon manager Steve Skinner said; “I was gutted. The first half was a great team effort. We went in 2-0 up should off been three or four. We came out second half and were like a team that had never played together before. We didn’t deserve anything in the end.”
Esh Winning drew 2-2 at Ryton & Crawcrook Albion, who led with two goals by Martyn Hepple, before Kai Hewitson and Connor Halpin scored in the last 13 minutes.
Esh had Nick Marley sent-off.
Manager Tony Boakes said; “It was the worst 90 minutes from a team that I’ve managed in seven seasons. There were no excuses, it was nowhere near good enough. However, being 2-0 down with 10 minutes to go and getting a 2-2 draw says everything”.