HORDEN lifted themselves off the bottom of the ENL second division with a much needed 2-1 victory at Esh Winning, and manager Darren Atkinson quickly gave the credit to new coach John Cornforth.
The former Sunderland player, who has just returned from a management spell in South Korea, has agreed to help the club until he finds another full-time role, and Atkinson said that Cornforth was instrumental as they won their first game since September, a run of 22 games.
“I was absolutely delighted with a committed performance from the players, they fought tooth and nail,” said Atkinson. “John has been unbelievable with the way he’s organised and coached the team since he arrived last week. We could have won the game by more – we’ve never created as many chances in one game this season.”
Adam Kidson put Horden into the lead with a 30-yard free kick, then Michael Cain flicked home an Atkinson cross for the second. Adam Garthwaite pulled a late goal back for Esh.
In the first division, West Auckland came from behind to draw 2-2 at home to Ashington, putting them six points behind second-placed Spennymoor, but have played four games more.
Ashington took the lead when the ball was headed down by Glen Taylor for Andy Johnson to score, and Johnson then crossed for Taylor to score.
Mattie Moffat pulled a goal back, and then John Campbell pounced to equalise late on.
Bishop Auckland have scored 25 goals in their last six matches at Heritage Park by coming from behind to beat South Shields 4-2.
Bishops were below their best in the first half, and Shields scored twice quickly through Liam Henderson and Paul Robinson, but Bishops were much better in the second half and pulled a goal back when Andy Johnson scored from a Kieron Megran pass.
Shields defender Chris Renshaw put through his own goal for the equaliser, then Johnson scored his 23rd league goal of the season from an Arran Wearmouth cross.
Chris Bell finished Shields off in the closing minutes.
Whitley Bay lost ground on the leaders because of a 1-1 draw at Bedlington. Chris Carr put Bedlington into the lead, but Paul Chow scored his 19th league goal of the season with a header.
Norton are second bottom after they were beaten 2-0 at Consett. Ryan King pounced on a mistake and fired past keeper Jim Provett for the first.
Consett didn’t press their advantage home until the last minute, when new signing Liam O’Mahoney scored from the rebound after Ryan Bell’s shot was blocked. Norton are 11 points below safety, although they have only played half their games.
Newcastle Benfield’s new manager Steve Bowey, saw his side pick up three valuable points at home to Sunderland RCA with a 1-0 win. Bowey had a hand in the only goal of the game, when his corner was headed on to the bar by Kevin Leighton and Stephen Young scored.
Marske beat Penrith 2-1 to put them ten points above the relegation zone. Willie Paul put Penrith into a deserved lead, but Marske levelled when Jordan Hugill capitalised on a defensive mistake.
Marske were much better after the break and won the game when David Onions scored from a corner.
Newton Aycliffe still aren’t completely out of trouble after they were beaten 2-1 at home by Celtic Nation.
The Carlisle side had the better of the opening chances and took the lead with a James Earl penalty . They went further ahead on 52 minutes when Steve Archibald rounded Scott Pocklington and set up Michael Reed for a tap in. Aycliffe launched a late revival when Danny Mellanby’s shot was blocked and Martin Young scored from the rebound.
Team Northumbria and Durham City drew 0-0.
In the other second division games, leaders Crook Town are now unbeaten in 16 matches after they won 2-1 at Birtley.
Warren Byrne’s double took his tally to 22 for the season.
Luke Wilson netted for Birtley.
Second placed Ryhope CW became the first club to hit a century of league goals for the season when they beat Whitehaven 2-1, with striker Chris Winn scoring both to take his league tally to 32.
He opened the scoring after five minutes from the edge of the box, and fired a second early in the second half. Kevin Connelly pulled a late one back.
Fourth-placed Northallerton won 4-2 at Seaham Red Star.
Sean Sweeney gave Seaham an early lead, but Adam Emson levelled, and was then brought down for a penalty that Danny Shoulder converted.
Emson scored another to make it 3-1. Seaham got a goal back through Alan Pegram.
Northallerton regained their momentum in the second half, and Shoulder scored another penalty after Emson was again fouled.
Darlington RA are also well in contention, beating Alnwick 4-2 at Brinkburn Road.
They scored twice in the first half with a James Muir penalty and an Aaron Ramsbottom strike, then went 3-0 up through Steve Allison. Alnwick, bottom after Horden’s win, pulled a goal back through Tony Brown, but the RA went 4-1 up through Zak Tervit.
Jarrow Roofing are sixth with games in hand on everyone above them, after they beat Ryton and Crawcrook 2- 0, with goals by Liam McBryde and Dan Smart.
North Shields are level on points with Roofing after beating Brandon with a single goal by Rob Nolan after 16 minutes. Morpeth beat Whickham 3-0 with goals by Lee Scott (2) and Micky Chilton.
Thornaby won 3-1 win at Washington to lift them well away from relegation trouble.
Richie Walker and Chris Burton put Thornaby 2-0 up, before Washington pulled a goal back through Chris Tate before half time. However, Gary Mitchell clinched it for Thornaby in the second half.
West Allotment easily beat Chester-le-Street 3-1, David Dormand (2) and Dean Lancaster their scorers, with Michael Pattison replying.
Stokesley and Tow Law drew 2-2 at Broughton Road.
Mattie Scott gave Lawyers the lead, but Stokesley came back through Ross Hodgson and Derek Bradley. However, Luke Thompson scored a late equaliser for Stokesley.