Whitley Bay dropped to third despite a late equaliser from Lee-Paul Scroggins rescuing a point at Shildon. The Seahorses are one of four Northern League teams to apply for promotion but need to finish in the top two places to be eligible and have played up to six games more than the other teams in the current top five. February’s trip to West Auckland Town and games against Spennymoor, Sunderland RCA and Bedlington Terriers on successive weekends in March will go a long way to deciding whether Bay start next season in the Evostik or Northern League. Sunderland RCA stay top of the league but comfortable wins for West Auckland, Dunston and Spennymoor mean only five points now separate the top five clubs. The pick of next weekend’s fixtures sees Spennymoor at home to seventh-placed Ashington in a repeat of a recent FA Vase tie won by the visiting Colliers.
Results from Division One:
Ashington 2 Tow Law 1
Billingham Town 0 Bedlington 7
Consett 0 West Auckland 3
Dunston 5 Penrith 1
Jarrow Roofing 0 Newton Aycliffe 3
Norton 0 Billingham Synthonia 1
Shildon 1 Whitley Bay 1
South Shields 3 Guisborough 4
Stokesley 0 Spennymoor 3
Below Team Northumbria and North Shields, the top of the Division Two table remains congested with just five points separating West Allotment in 3rd from Hebburn Town in 10th. The recent promotion applications from Wearside League sides Ryhope CW, Redcar and Willington mean the Northern League’s bottom placed team is almost certain to be relegated. Horden’s 2-1 win at Thornaby – their first three points since beating Whickham at the start of December – lifts them five points clear of Easington, though Andy Colledge’s team have four games in hand.
North Shields’ 3-0 win at Easington extends their unbeaten run away from home, the Robins last beaten on their travels at Whickham in September 2010. Team Northumbria’s win keeps them top, with the sides scheduled to meet at North Shields on February 18th.
Darlington RA are offering Darlington FC season ticket holders £1 entry for their remaining home games this season. With Darlo teetering and no guarantee that anything would be salvaged if the club goes bust, there has been internet chatter of a fan-owned team being set up in time for the new season. FA rules would allow its entry into the Evostik or Northern League, though an application to the Teesside League – two steps below Northern League Division Two – or the possibility of a merger with Wearside League side Darlington Cleveland Bridge have also been mentioned depending on what kind of club – if any – is eventually formed.
Division Two results:
Chester-le-Street 2 Esh Winning 2
Crook 1 Alnwick 1
Easington 0 North Shields 3
Gillford Park 4 Birtley 4
Hebburn 2 Morpeth 1
Northallerton 4 Team Northumbria 5
Ryton 2 Washington 1
Seaham Red Star 0 Whitehaven 1
Thornaby 1 Horden 2
West Allotment 3 Brandon 1
Whickham 5 Darlington RA 2
As ever, up to date tables can be seen on the Northern League’s official website.