SPENNYMOOR Town climbed into the top four of the ENL first division after a 3-2 win at Ashington, and manager Jason Ainsley put the victory down to his players’ tremendous spirit.
Moors dug deep after going 2-1 down at one point to beat Ashington, who had outside title hopes and had defeated another title-chasing team, West Auckland, just four days before.
“It was a superb performance from us on a very difficult pitch for both teams, and I’m delighted with the three points and the effort from our players.
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“Some people thought we might have lost the game because we’ve lost games like that in the past, but we have a tremendous spirit in the dressing room which will play a massive part between now and the end of the season.”
Moors took the lead after six minutes when Gavin Cogdon finished well from a Callum Griffiths pass, but Ashington levelled when Griffiths was penalised for a foul, and Andrew Johnson scored from the spot.
Ashington went 2-1 up just after half time with a 20- yarder from Sam Norris, but within a minute Moors were level through Liam Henderson from close range – his 24th league goal of the season.
The game could have gone either way after that, but Moors dug deep and scored the winner on 68 minutes when sub Andrew Stephenson headed home from a Keith Graydon corner.
West Auckland bounced back from their midweek defeat at Ashington by winning 2-0 at Sunderland RCA. West took an eighth minute lead thanks to a powerful drive from the edge of the box into the bottom corner by Brian Close, and they were thwarted from going further ahead before half time with three good saves by RCA keeper Jonathan Carmichael.
It was the same again in the second half with Carmichael again making two good stops, while Ross Wilkinson headed over the bar at the other end.
Richardson headed against the bar, before Carmichael failed to hold a shot by Robbie Briggs right at the end, and sub John Campbell scored.
West manager Peter Dixon said; “I think we should have scored more goals, but their keeper had a blinder.”
Kenny Lindoe’s team took a first minute lead through Michael Mackay after Crook keeper Jack Norton failed to hold Luke Sullivan’s shot, then five minutes later Sullivan hit a second from a through ball. Kyle Davis pulled a goal back for Crook, and Lewis Teesdale missed a good chance for an equaliser.
Sullivan made it 3-1 to Consett at the start of the second half, but again Davis kept Crook in the game when he scored from a cross by sub Matthew Weirs.
But Mackay made it 4-2 with a shot on the turn, and Davis’ hat-trick goal deep in stoppage time was just a consolation.
Davis also scored a hattrick last week in the 3-3 draw at Newton Aycliffe.
Guisborough strengthened their grip on a top six spot by beating Hebburn 3-0 at the King George with striker Danny Johnson taking his goals tally for the season to 32 in the league.
It took Guisborough until the 55th minute to break down a stubborn Hebburn defence when Paul Roddam opened the scoring. Danny Johnson then scored his 31st league goal of the season when he finished off a good move, and right at the end he grabbed a third.
Durham City nearly threw away a 3-0 lead against Penrith, but held on for a 3-2 win.
Ian Ward put Durham into an eighth minute lead from close range, and after 42 minutes Scott Fenwick made it 2-0, finishing off a good move from a cross by Josh Gray.
Fenwick then got a third when Max Stoker charged down a clearance by the Penrith keeper, and the ball rolled for him to tap in.
West Auckland defend a corner during their win at Sunderland RCA on Saturday
City continued to miss chances, and Penrith took advantage and pulled a goal back through Jordan Little from the penalty spot. Steven Rigg headed in another from a corner with two minutes left, but City held on.
Bottom club Billingham Town lost 5-0 at home to Bedlington, which means that they have failed to score in their last eight games, going all the way back to December 12. New signing David Abel put through his own goal in the opening minutes, and by half time Bedlington were 3-0 up with further goals by David Brown and Colin Morton. Dylan Williamson and Shaun McRoberts added further goals in the second half.
In the second division, Norton’s promotion hopes appear to have been dashed after they lost to a late injury time goal at third-placed Seaham Red Star.
The home side led with a goal two minutes after half time by Lewis Wing when he finished off a good move from the edge of the box, but Norton equalised immediately after through Michael Jameson.
Just when it seemed as if Norton would collect a valuable point, they conceded the winner when Connor Winter headed a Lee Kerr free kick into the top corner.
Tow Law won their local derby at Willington by 2-1.
They scored two goals within the space of two minutes in the first half, Scott Thompson scored from close range and Dean Thexton lobbed the keeper. Aidan Goodey pulled a goal back in the second half.
Thornaby took the lead when Ricky Phillips scored from a rebound, and then they got the second through Ged Livingstone with a header.
Livingstone made it 3-0 with another header at the start of the second half, and after Greg Upton pulled a goal back, Livingstone completed his hat trick from a Curtis Edwards cross. Stokesley scored a late consolation, courtesy of an own goal by Ian Bishop.
In the Evo-Stik premier division, Whitby enjoyed a 3-0 win at Stocksbridge Park Steels. Graeme Armstrong and Craig Farrell (2) scored for them in the first half. Whitby are seventh, a point below the play offs.
Blyth had a 3-1 home win over Chorley after being a goal down after 20 minutes.
Dan Maguire, Neal Hooks and Danny Parker scored. Blyth are level on points with Whitby, but have a worse goal difference.