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Ray Simpson`s Northern League Review…

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Whitley Bay are now third in the Ebac Northern League First Division after they beat Norton & Stockton Ancients on…..

….Tuesday night, and the teams immediately above them, West Auckland Town and Bishop Auckland both lost.

Bishop Auckland lost 4-2 at Consett after leading 2-1 at one stage.

Bishops took the lead after 19 minutes when Stephen Tobin deflected in a Kieran Megran effort, but Consett levelled with a shot by Luke Sullivan that went in off the post.

Bishops regained the lead after 50 minutes when Kyle Swankie scored from a Dale Jardine cross, but then they collapsed.

Bishops keeper Peter Jeffries failed to hold on to a header by Matthew Slocombe to give Consett their equaliser, and within a minute Calvin Smith made it 3-2.

The Bishops’ defence was lacking again on 73 minutes when Smith scored from a rebound.

Bishops manager Colin Myers said: “We were missing four players, and we caught Consett on a good night. We couldn’t get anywhere near them in midfield.”

Consett manager Ken Lindoe said: “We played very well and fully deserved the victory.”

West Auckland lost 1-0 at home to Celtic Nation – three days after beating them in the reverse fixture.

CN keeper Ryan Smith pulled off two good saves as West dominated the opening stages, but CN took the lead when Dean Douglas played a good 30-yard pass for Steven Archibald to turn past Chris Mullins.

Mattie Moffat missed a good chance for an equaliser in the second half, while Archibald hit the bar at the other end.

Celtic Nation manager Steve Skinner said: “We were a lot better than last Saturday, even with a few lads missing. It wasn’t the best of games, but I would say we had the better of the chances.”

Whitley Bay beat Norton for the second time in four days and the third time this season, when they defeated them 3-0 at Hillheads.

Just like last Saturday, Norton held Bay for an hour until Brad Brooking scored with a 25-yarder.

Chris Fawcett fired in a second, and Paul Chow got the third from the edge of the box.

Norton manager Andy Campbell said: “It was the same as last Saturday. We did really well for 60/70 minutes and gave them a real scare. We need hope goals and hope they come this weekend. I will make sure I’ll turn this season around because I’m not a quitter.”

Whitley Bay manager Ian Chandler said: “It was another great result. We played some good football, but 0-0 at half time again. The second half was another ground out win, which was an excellent effort on a heavy pitch.”

Shildon’s run of three straight wins came to an end when they were held to a goalless draw at Billingham Town, who now move out of the bottom three above Penrith.

Shildon missed a chance to clinch the points in the first half, but Sam Garvie failed to convert a penalty, which was saved by Town keeper Danny Molyneux.

Shildon manager Gary Forrest said: “It was a solid performance, but we lacked a bit of spark in the final third. Ben Wood was a miss on the night.”

Billingham Town manager Carl Jarrett said: “We fought and scrapped for every ball tonight. We matched Shildon all night – I was proud of the lads because it was a good point.”

Hebburn Town drew 2-2 with Team Northumbria.

Paul Gardiner put Hebburn into the lead from a rebound, but Peter Watling equalised.

Nicholson restored Hebburn’s lead with a low shot on 64 minutes, but Phil Lumsden levelled three minutes from the end for TN.

Hebburn manager Paul Bennett said: “It was a disappointing first half. We addressed a few issues at half-time and at 2-1 we were very comfortable. Then we had a player rightly sent-off and we battened down the hatches for the last 20 minutes. Unfortunately we conceded in the last minute. Probably a fair result in the end.”

Sunderland RCA won 4-2 at South Shields after being 2-0 down at one stage.

Steven Graham and Anthony Coe put bottom of the table Shields 2-0 up, but RCA hit back with goals by Aristote Guerin-Lokonga (2), Nathan Monson and an own goal.

RCA manager Neil Hixon said: “I feared the worst when we were 2-0 down after 15 minutes, but the lads showed character and deserved the win.”

In the Second Division, a late equaliser by Mattie Scott earned Tow Law Town a point at home to Northallerton Town.

The visitors led with goals by Peter Bulmer and Adam Emson, with Scott replying for Tow Law.

Lawyers` manager Gary Anderson said: “An end-to-end game. Two teams going for a win, in the end, a draw was a fair result.”

Northallerton manager Mark Fanning said: “We have shot ourselves in the foot again, gifting the opposition two goals. We need to stop being so generous and become more ruthless.”

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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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