In another high scoring round of games, goals from Andy Hirst (2), Phil Lumsden, Mick Chilton, and Shaun Bell helped Benfield to a 5-0 win over Tow Law Town, putting the Newcastle club top of Northern League Division One. Billingham Synthonia, 5-0 winners themselves at struggling Stokesley, are second on goal difference.
Elsewhere, another two goals for Michael Mackay weren’t enough to stop last season’s runners up Consett slipping to a 4-3 home defeat against Sunderland RCA. Newly promoted Marske continued their good start with a 1-1 draw at home to champions Spennymoor, and Shildon beat Bedlington 1-0 with a goal from Stephen Baptist, an ex-Gateshead midfielder who had a loan spell with the Terriers last season.
In Division Two, floodlight failure caused Easington’s first home game back in the Northern League to be abandoned after 66 minutes with Andy Colledge’s team holding Team Northumbria 1-1. Fellow newcomers Alnwick Town got their first win of the season with a 1-0 victory over West Allotment, while Tony Mowbray’s brother Darren scored Northallerton’s first goal in their 2-0 win at home to Whitehaven. There were also away wins for Darlington RA at Crook and Washington, who surprisingly beat promotion favourites North Shields 4-2.
A disappointing performance from Northern Alliance champions Ponteland United saw them lose to two second half goals at home to Harraby Catholic Club, who move into third behind Carlisle City and Whitley Bay ‘A’, all on six points from their opening two games. Wearside League title winners Ryhope CW fared a lot better, beating Annfield Plain 5-0 away, while there were also comfortable wins for Jarrow, in their first game since Davy Bell’s resignation, and Redcar Athletic.