Ashington stumbled, Dunston, Sunderland RCA and Whitley Bay recovered, but the West Auckland, Spennymoor and Team Northumbria juggernauts just rolled on. After seven league wins in a row left some tipping them as an outside bet for the Division One title, Ashington went down 1-0 at home to an Anthony Burnell goal for Newcastle Benfield. A Sonny Andrews penalty and a goal from skipper Leon Ryan gave Spennymoor all three points at home to Bedlington Terriers, the visitors replying with a late own-goal from Lewis Dodds. A goal of the season contender from David Pounder, added to first half strikes from Robbie Dale, Paul Robinson and Paul Chow, saw Whitley Bay to a 4-0 win over Billingham Synthonia as the North Tyneside team bounced back from a midweek defeat at South Shields. Two Andrew Bulford goals helped Dunston to a 3-0 win over bottom of the table Stokesley, Alex Benjamin netted his first for Sunderland RCA as they triumphed by the same scoreline at Jarrow Roofing, and leaders West Auckland Town won a hard fought game 2-1 at Billingham Town. At the opposite end of the table, a Stuart Owen goal for Newton Aycliffe kept Guisborough in the bottom three, Marske United moving four points clear of the drop zone with a 4-3 win at South Shields, who slip back to 18th. It’s been a bad week for Guisborough, threatened with a cut-off notice by electricity providers E.on after suffering what have been described as short-term financial problems. The turnout at a public meeting held last Monday promises better times for what remains one of the league’s more innovative and genuinely welcoming clubs.
In Division Two, Team Northumbria won 4-1 at third placed Birtley Town, and North Shields stretched their unbeaten away run to 22 games with an equally impressive 2-1 win at Whickham, in the process leapfrogging the Gateshead club to move into second place, nine points behind Team North with three games in hand. Birtley drop to fifth after West Allotment’s 3-2 win over Darlington RA. Struggling Easington lost 7-1 at Thornaby, who go seventh behind Esh Winning.
The full Northern League tables can be viewed here.
The weather’s getting colder but the Northern League is heating up. Bedlington host Whitley Bay in Monday night’s solitary league game, the pick of the midweek games alongside Spennymoor’s Wednesday night trip to Guisborough Town. Adult admission to both games is just £5.