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Ray Simpson`s Northern League Review…

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Celtic Nation are considering a protest to the FA over the referee of their stormy 6-3 Ebac Northern League First…..

…..Division defeat at Durham City on Saturday using what they claim was “foul language.”

The Carlisle side had two players red carded and two more sent out of the technical area as they finished with nine-men, one of whom was an outfield player in goal, and they are sure to hear more about some of the incidents during the match.

But CN were furious about a second half exchange between one of their players and the referee. Player-manager Steve Skinner claimed: “The referee’s conduct was embarrassing. He called all of their players by their first names, and then he used foul language towards one of our players. We intend to report him to the FA, which will be the first time we’ve reported a referee in our history.”

Nevertheless, the victory did City a power of good, lifting them up to sixth bottom, four points above the relegation zone.

CN took the lead when Steve Archibald ran through a static defence and scored after 2 minutes, but Conor Winter slid the ball past the keeper for the equaliser. Craig Ellison gave City the lead from a free kick, but Archibald equalised at the other end.

Scott Fenwick put Durham back into the lead with a right foot shot, but Craig Wilson levelled from the spot before half time.

After half-time, CN had keeper Ian Milburn dismissed for an alleged head-butt, and then Tyran Taylor was dismissed for swearing over a penalty award.

Olly Hotchkiss gave City the lead again from the spot, and after Ricky Fenwick made it 5-3, CN assistant manager Tony Lee and backroom staff member Graham Anthony were sent from the dug-out. Winter headed a sixth near the end.

Durham manager Adam Furness said: “It was an important win after two defeats on the trot. The game had everything, and some of the defending was comical. I don’t want to comment too much on the referee, but after he awarded a second controversial penalty which we converted to go 4-3 up early in the second half, we were more than comfortable against nine men. Scott Fenwick was exceptional for us.”

Penrith pulled off a surprise, beating Guisborough Town 3-0 to lift them two places to fourth bottom.

Andy Murray-Jones gave them an early lead from a right wing cross, then Martyn Coleman got the second from a rebound.

Guisborough had Mark Casey red carded for an off the ball incident, then before half-time Rob Bowman made it 3-0 with a 30 yarder.

Billingham Town are now in the bottom three after they lost 4-3 at Hebburn Town.

Nicky Martin headed Billingham into the lead from a Harrison Davies cross, but Jonny Davis levelled midway through the half from the penalty spot.

Hebburn took a half-time lead when Tony Stephenson won possession and set up Paul Gardiner, and midway in the second half Stuart Nicholson cut in from the wing and scored with a deflected shot.

Tony Stephenson made it 4-1 in a scramble, before Town launched a late revival. Danny Wray scored with a glancing header, and Stephen Flockett got another with 6 minutes left.

Billingham Town manager Carl Jarrett said: “I couldn’t fault the attitude of the lads. We still gave some sloppy goals away and then we nearly got back into it late on. Time to roll our sleeves up and pull together.”

Hebburn manager Paul Bennett said: “The scoreline flatters Billingham. If we had our normal quality in the final third we could have had seven or eight. However, we took our foot off at 4-1 and let them back in with some sloppy play.”

Newcastle Benfield beat another club just above the relegation fight, Marske United, by 2-1.

Leon Carling gave Marske the lead from a corner early in the game, but Benfield levelled when Gary Ormston hit the target with a 20-yarder. Sam Norris then scored the winner with a 25-yarder that flew into the top corner.

Marske manager Ted Watts said: “We played well in the first half and looked comfortable. We never got going in the second half. Poor result.”

Newcastle Benfield manager Anthony Woodhouse said: “It was a well-deserved win. It was a mistake on our behalf for their goal, but we could have won five or six.”

Bottom club South Shields are in danger of being cast adrift after they were beaten 2-0 at Team Northumbria, both goals scored by Peter Watling.

Team Northumbria manager Paul Johnson said: “I was pleased with how we dominated possession for most of the game but more so how we defended. We’ve now conceded only one goal in three league games. We have made quite a few changes to the side and now we have most of the squad fit. Results in the last three games speak for themselves compared to when we had half the squad injured.”

Second Division leaders Ryhope CW had an excellent 6-1 away win at Darlington RA.

Jonny Butler, the Second Division’s leading scorer, scored his third hat-trick of the season, one of them a penalty, to take his tally to thirty-one league goals. Chris Winn his striker partner, scored Ryhope’s last goal in the dying seconds to give him twenty-seven for the season.

Phil Hall and Chris Trewick scored the other goals, with Paul Freary replying for the RA at 3-0.

The match kicked off 35 minutes late because some of the Ryhope players were delayed by an accident on the motorway.

Ryhope CW manager Martin Swales said: “We took full control of the game in the second half against a Darlo side who will win more than they lose as they are a strong physical side who like to be direct to the front players. Hopefully it was a good game for the fans to watch.”

Darlington RA manager Nick Harrison said: “We were up against a good side and we didn’t defend to the required level. Had we been awarded a clear penalty at 3-1 then things might have been different.”

Second-placed Crook Town were also amongst the goals, putting six past Thornaby in a 6-1 win at the Millfield.

Crook took the lead after just 4 minutes when Chris Wallace scored from a long throw, then centre half Ian Maddison tapped in the second from a corner.

David Paul set up Kyle Davis to score with a shot on the turn from the edge of the area on the resumption, and then sub Warren Byrne opened up the Thornaby defence for Paul to score in off the bar.

Liam O’Mahoney scored the goal of the game for Thornaby with a 35 yarder into the top corner. But Byrne snuffed out any hopes of a comeback with two more in the last twenty minutes.

Crook manager Gary Pearson said: “I’m delighted for the club committee, because they did so much work on the pitch since 8.30 in the morning. The players didn’t disappoint them with a 6-1 win. The game was all about which club could deal with the conditions the best.”

Seaham Red Star are now joint third following their 3-1 home win over Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.

Alan Pegram, Kevin Gordon and Chris Scott scored for Seaham, with Brian Dodsworth replying.

Seaham Red Star manager Mark Collingwood said: We had to dig deep to gain maximum points. We were down to the bare bones, but credit to the lads who came in. Ryton made it difficult for us, they played well.”

Jarrow Roofing are just a point behind the top three after a 3-0 home win over Brandon United.

Dan Smart scored one of the goals to give him ten league goals for the club, with Anthony Myers and David Palmer scoring the others.

Jarrow manager Richie McLoughlin said: “We played well, and it was a good three points after not expecting the game to be on.”

Horden CW are sinking deeper into trouble after being hammered 6-2 at home by Whitehaven.

Horden were level 2-2 at one point, but Whitehaven moved up a gear in the second half. Lee Bishop and Peter Crawford scored for Horden, with Stuart Shaw, Kevin Connelly, Craig Robson, Paul Brown, Sam Smith and a Stephen Hodgson own goal on target for Whitehaven.

Whitehaven have had three points deducted by the league for using a suspended player in a recent game.

Horden manager Peter Mulcaster said: “Another poor second half performance.”

Stokesley SC had their best win for many a year, hammering Whickham 7-2 at Broughton Road.

Ross Hodgson and Gary Redman scored for Stokesley in the first half, with Scott Swanson replying. Derek Bradley made it 3-1 with Swanson replying again, but then Stokesley took full control and scored through Bradley, Mark McManus and Adam Foley.

Stokesley assistant-manager Chris Lax said: “It was a great win that’s been coming. We scored goals that we have previously created but not converted. At 3-1 up we started to come under a bit of pressure and Whickham pulled the score back to 3-2 but we dug in and showed great determination and a will to win to go on and score four more goals.”

Whickham manager Robin Falcus said: “We had the bare bones on the field, but still had a good eleven to win the game. Some of our decision making is baffling and it has cost us. Too many players went missing and that’s worrying. We are all embarrassed but determined to put it right.”


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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