Newton Aycliffe manager Deano Browne says that his team is in a false position after their 1-1 draw at Guisborough Town in the Ebac Northern League First Division on Saturday.
Aycliffe are unbeaten in their last six league games, but they are still fourth-bottom and seven points above Jarrow Roofing, who have two games in hand.
“We have enough quality in our side to climb up the table, and I’m confident the lads will start converting the chances we are creating and that we will stay in the league,” said Browne.
“We are unbeaten in six league games, but the draws could easily have been wins. We believe that we are in a false position and hope our fortunes change soon.
“It was a pretty even game throughout although Guisborough shaded the first half. The pitch was a bit of a leveller and it was difficult for both teams to get the ball down and play. We had some great chances in the second half to win the game but didn’t manage to take them. A point away from home in this league is a good point.”
Aycliffe, who included new signing Jordan Jewson in their squad, took the lead with a deflected shot by Craig Hutchinson on 21 minutes, but Nathan Steel equalised for Guisborough before half-time.
Shildon missed a chance to go second in the table when they were beaten 3-1 at home by third-bottom Jarrow Roofing at Dean Street.
Roofing took the lead after 17 minutes when Dennis Knight split the Shildon defence for Liam Anderson to run through and score, then Roofing deservedly scored their second on 49 minutes when Anderson set up Knight to slot in the second.
Shildon were stunned again when Anderson curled a third past keeper Nick Liversedge, and late in the game they pulled a goal back when Oliver Martin put through his own goal when the ball rebounded off him after Shaun Newbrook saved a penalty.
Shildon had Jamie Harwood red-carded for a last-man foul in the closing minutes.
Shildon manager Danny Moore said; “We can’t defend like that and expect to win games – no complaints.”
West Auckland Town are up to sixth after a 2-1 away win at Penrith.
They took the lead after 20 minutes when Jamie Cobain and Ben Wood set up Alex Francis to run through and score, but the Cumbrians equalised 3 minutes after half-time with a good effort by Andy Murray-Jones.
However, Nathan Fisher grabbed his 24th league goal of the season for the winner when he scored from a Cobain pass.
West Auckland manager Gary Forrest said; “The scoreline doesn’t reflect our performance. The lads showed great character to bounce back from last week.”
In the Second Division, Northallerton Town are still six points clear at the top after winning 2-1 at West Allotment Celtic.
Dean Walker fired Allotment in front on 21 minutes, but Northallerton levelled through Chris Dickinson from a Shaun Hudson pass.
Sub Colin Anderson got the winner with his first touch of the ball after coming on after 65 minutes.
Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “It was a tough game, but once we adapted to the 4G surface I thought we deserved the win. However, West Allotment pushed us all the way.”
Tow Law Town stayed second after winning their local derby 2-1 at Brandon United, who are next-to-bottom.
Player-manager Steve Skinner put Brandon into the lead, but Lawyers hit back with goals by Jon Kemp and Rhys Harbottle to give them their sixth away league win of the season.
Tow Law manager Steve Murray said; “We had to come from behind after conceding a freak goal and did well. It was an excellent second half performance.”
Brandon manager Steve Skinner said; “We’re very disappointed with the result. We played very well in the first half and missed two easy chances to put the game to bed and we were the better side before they scored what was a very sloppy goal that was hard to take.
“In the second half we again missed some good chances, while they hit the bar twice. Overall a draw would have been a fair result but there are plenty of positives for us to work with, especially with so many new players.”
Some of the other promotion chasers dropped points. Third-placed Heaton Stannington were held to a 3-3 draw by Esh Winning.
Shaun Reay, Alex Goundry and Reece Brown scored for Esh, with Brown levelling 5 minutes from the end.
Manager Tony Boakes said; “It was an absolutely great team performance from us. We would have had all three points if it wasn’t for a couple of mistakes.”
Fourth-placed Blyth AFC were held to a draw by Hebburn Town, while fifth-placed Whickham were beaten 4-1 at home by Billingham Town.
Those slips have opened the door for Durham City, who are eighth, just five points off the promotion places after they easily won 4-0 at bottom club Alnwick Town.
Callum Smith scored a hat-trick, with Brad Hird scoring the other.
Durham manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “It was an outstanding performance from the players. We showed great character and courage to play some great football on a difficult playing surface. We dropped off in the second half which was disappointing, but I can’t praise the lads enough for their application and effort to maintain our good form.”
Chester-le-Street are now unbeaten in seven league games after beating Bedlington Terriers with a goal by Dan McGuire with 13 minutes left.
Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “It was basically a game of two halves. First half we never started and were thankful for poor finishing and excellent goalkeeping by Jak Wilson, who made a string of excellent saves. We slowly got a foothold in the game after some strong words at half time and edged the second half 1-0 to keep our little run going.”
Darlington RA under new manager Paul Edwards couldn’t make it two home wins in a week when they lost 2-0 at home to Thornaby, for whom Joe Posthill and Jack McGurk scored.