SPENNYMOOR Town manager Jason Ainsley says that his team needs to learn how to kill teams off as they slipped further behind the leaders in a 1-1 draw against Morpeth on Saturday.
Moors missed a string of chances to win the game, although they had a justifiable claim for a penalty for a foul on Liam Henderson in the closing minutes.
“Ironically, it’s the best we’ve played in recent weeks, but once again, missed chances have cost us,” he said.
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“To be fair, how the ref did not award a penalty for a blatant foul on Henderson in the last minute is beyond me, but to be fair the officials were terrible for both teams.
“We need to start killing games off. They scored with one of only two shots on target all game, but they defended very well.”
Moors dominated the first half, but they couldn’t break through, even from a Henderson penalty that Steven Mundy pushed on to the bar.
Joe Walton hit the post as the chances went begging for Moors, and they paid the penalty when Sean Taylor fired across Peter Jeffries to put Morpeth ahead on 63 minutes.
Moors levelled when a header by Bobby Moore was blocked, and Henderson scored from the loose ball.
Mundy pulled off another great save from a Henderson header, and in the last minute, Henderson was brought down, but Moors’ loud penalty appeals were turned down.
Moors are fourth on the table, with games in hand on the top two.
Celtic Nation went top of the table after a 4-0 home win over Crook Town in front of a crowd of 548, the second biggest crowd of the season in the league, and a club record.
Martyn Coleman put them into the lead from a Josh Allan flick, then he quickly fired a second by the half hour mark. Coleman completed his hat-trick early in the second half, and Willie Gibson scored the goal of the game when he beat several defenders before firing past the Crook keeper.
Steve Richardson put West into the lead midway through the first half from a Robbie Briggs cross, and he rounded the keeper for the second on 57 minutes. Town battled hard, but they went 3-0 down on 73 minutes when sub Mattie Moffat beat two defenders and blasted in off the underside of the bar. He popped up again to get the fourth seven minutes later, and in the dying minutes Phil Bannister scored the fifth. Warren Byrne added another from close range.
A last-minute winner gave Sunderland RCA three points at Consett in a 4-3 win.
The RCA took the lead when Kyle Fryatt beat two men and fired past Chris Elliott in the Consett goal, but new signing Jordan Mellish equalised with a header. Just on half time, Kyle Morris put RCA into the lead, and Carl Piecha put through his own goal to make it 3-1 at the start of the second half, but Luke Sullivan pulled one back with an overhead kick. Michael Mackay scored from a rebound off a Scott Canham shot, but right at the end Gavin Barton fired the winner.
Team Northumbria stopped Guisborough from winning their seventh successive game, but a 2-2 draw still left them third bottom.
Peter Watling scored twice in the first 25 minutes to put Team Northumbria in the lead, but Mikey Roberts pulled a goal back from the penalty spot soon after, and at the start of the second half Dan Johnson equalised.
Bedlington are now three points off the relegation zone after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Marske.
The home side took the lead on 16 minutes with a deflected 25 yard free kick by Craig Gott, but Bedlington levelled on 34 minutes through Paul Watson.
Billingham Synthonia easily beat second bottom Hebburn 5-1 at Central Avenue, but it was Hebburn who took an early lead with an Alex Downey header. Synners levelled on 26 minutes through debutant Fred Woodhouse after Michael Sweet’s shot rebounded to him.
Tom Bott put Synners into the lead with a 25 yarder, then Woodhouse got the third from a David Hillerby pass before half time. Mattie Osmond fired the fourth with seven minutes left, and Sweet headed the fifth.
Whitley Bay, whose manager Ian Chandler is approaching ten years in charge, won their local derby 1-0 against Ashington at Hillheads, Chris Moore scoring the only goal of the game.
Second Division leaders North Shields thumped Brandon 6-0.
Brandon held Shields to a goalless draw at half time, but then leaders bulldozed them in the second half.
Dean Holmes scored from a through ball to put them in the lead, and then he set up Dean Walker for the second.
Sub Adam Scope got the third with a curler from 20 yards, then Gareth Bainbridge fired his 31st league goal of the season.
Joe Elliott made it 5-0, and Bainbridge scored another near the end. It was the second time this season that Shields have scored six in a game, and they have now kept 13 clean sheets.
West Allotment came back from 3-2 down and won 4-3 at Tow Law.
Allotment started well enough, with player-manager Paul Stoneman and David Dormand scoring inside the first 20 minutes, but Lawyers hit back to lead by half time.
Dan Wilson pulled a goal back, and then Lewis Harrison and Scott Thompson put them 3-2 up at half time. But in the second half, Stephen Little and Michael Bell hit back for Allotment.
Before the game, Lawyers had a minute’s silence for former manager Stuart Leeming and long serving supporters Lily Craggs and Jeff Liddle, who have all passed away recently.
Third-placed Heaton Stannington lost their promotion clash 2-1 against Seaham Red Star.
Seaham took the lead after 38 minutes with an Adam Johnston penalty after Joe Wear was red carded – Johnston’s 18th league goal of the season – but Heaton levelled at the other end with another penalty through Jon Wright after Seaham defender David Short was sent off.
But seven minutes from the end, new signing Dean Nicholson got the winner from a Darryl Donnelly assist.
Jarrow Roofing are fourth in the table with games in hand on the top three after a 6-3 victory at Stokesley.
The home side took the lead with a Stuart Browne header, but Roofing levelled when Andy Appleby ran through and beat Stokesley keeper James Fleming. Paul Gardiner put Roofing into the lead after half time from a Liam McBryde assist, then Stephen Young made it 3-1 from the spot after Appleby was fouled. Greg Peel pulled one back with a good effort, but Stuart Nicholson fired cleverly past Fleming to make it 4-2. Gardiner scored the fifth from an Appleby pass, and after Peel blasted a third from 25 yards for Stokesley, Jamie Marshall got the sixth.
Norton picked up three much needed points with a 1-0 win at home to Thornaby, even though they had Michael Joseph sent off. Nicky Martin scored the winner in the first half.
Northallerton also had a good 2-0 away win at Whickham to put them in seventh.
They went close a couple of times before they took the lead through Dale Elgie from a Michael Stevens cross on 26 minutes, and then new signing Chris Burton headed in a cross from Colin Anderson.
Whickham, who have a big Vase game against West Auckland next week, had Mark Pattinson red carded in the second half.
Washington continued their revival with a 4-1 away win at Alnwick. They took the lead with a goal by Mark Davison but Alnwick levelled through Dominic Schiavetta.
But then Alnwick had Kevin Elliott red carded, and Washington went on to win with further goals by Chris Winn, Paul Kane and James Fairley.
In the Evo-Stik League, Whitby let a two-goal lead slip against leaders Skelmersdale and had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
Steven Snaith and Graeme Armstrong put them 2-0 up by the 51st minute, but Tom Ince and Dean Atsbury levelled for Skem.
Blyth’s game at Matlock was postponed.