A second half goal from ex-Middlesbrough and Shildon forward Dan Hawkins gave Bishop Auckland a hard fought derby win over Spennymoor Town in front of 428 fans. The defending champions missed a 10th minute penalty and were denied by an inspired Peter Jeffries in the Bishop goal as they slipped to their first defeat of the season. Steve Bowey missed an 85th minute penalty for Bedlington Terriers as they lost 2-1 to Billingham Synthonia, a Steven Richardson goal with 10 minutes left all the home side could eventually muster in reply to strikes from Matt Crossen and Danny Earl. West Auckland beat Shildon 2-1, Elliot Gardner cancelled out a Nathan Mulligan goal to give Newton Aycliffe a 1-1 draw at Norton and Stockton, while Consett versus Penrith finished goalless, giving the Cumbrians their first point of the season. There were first points too for Tow Law Town, 2-1 winners at Stokesley Sporting Club. Stokesley drop one place to second bottom with one point from seven games, ahead of South Shields, still pointless after four.
In Division Two, Northallerton Town drew 3-3 at home with Esh Winning and North Shields won 1-0 at Crook. After the home side had hit the woodwork twice, a Keith Douglas goal gave the Robins their first win of the season as they moved off the bottom of the league.
Tuesday night saw FA Cup action at Whitehaven (now bottom of Division Two) and South Shields (now bottom of Division One). Hebburn Town returned from Cumbria with a 3-1 win and host Penrith in the first qualifying round. South Shields versus Newcastle Benfield was abandoned at half time due to floodlight failure and will be replayed next Tuesday night at Filtrona. In the pick of the Northern League games, tabletoppers Sunderland RCA won 4-2 at Billingham Town with goals from Andy Jennings (2), Mark Davison and Bryan Stewart. Stewart, an ex-York City winger, was a recent signing from Spennymoor after RCA top scorer Gavin Barton had moved the opposite way. Dunston UTS are now sixth after scoring six at Marske United, Anthony Hume netting four to move on to nine league goals for the season, one behind Consett’s Michael Mackay and Bedlington’s Anthony Shandran.
The top six in Division One:
1. Sunderland RCA P6 Pts 16
2. Newcastle Benfield P5 Pts 12
3. Billingham Synthonia P5 Pts 12
4. Newton Aycliffe P7 Pts 12
5. Consett P6 Pts 11
6. Dunston P5 Pts 11
In last night’s Wearside League games, Prudhoe Town thrashed Gateshead Leam Rangers 8-3, Redcar Athletic won 5-1 at Peterlee, Ryhope beat Coxhoe 4-0 and Jarrow won the South Tyneside derby 3-2 at Boldon CA. Darlington CB’s 2-1 home defeat to Stockton leaves Redcar (P9 Pts22) and Ryhope (P7 Pts 21) clear at the top of the league.