BISHOP AUCKLAND ended a run of four league games without a win with a 6-2 victory at Billingham Town.
Bishops have slid down the table with some poor performances, forcing manager David Bayles into making changes.
“We couldn’t keep fielding the same team,” he said.
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“We’ve been very stop-start in recent weeks, so it was a very pleasing result.
“The players worked hard, kept their shape and did their jobs well. They were much better than in recent games.”
Jonny Butler put Bishops into the lead then headed the second from a Dan Hawkins cross. Dean Douglas made it 3- 0 after Danny Earl’s shot was blocked.
Butler completed his hattrick – the second time he has done so against Town this season – from a Douglas cross before Danny Brunskill, who was at Billingham earlier in the season, scored the fifth.
Karl Richards pulled a goal back for Town from the penalty spot, but another former Town player, Danny Earl, scored the sixth from a Stuart Thompson cross. Michael Dalton scored a late consolation for Town.
Celtic Nation are nine points clear after beating Team Northumbria 2-1 in front of a record crowd of 782.
Martyn Coleman put Nation into the lead from a through ball, but TN equalised from a Peter Watling penalty for a foul.
Bobby Moore volleyed the winner.
Spennymoor came from behind to win 3-1 at Durham City and stay eleven points behind the leaders with seven games in hand.
City took the lead on 24 minutes when Ian Ward started a run from inside his own half, beat three players and slotted the ball home. Moors levelled on the hour when Steve Capper crossed for Dan Taylor to head home.
Henderson finished off a good move on 73 minutes and six minutes later he charged through from the halfway line and beat two men before firing past Dean Caris.
Shildon dropped points in a goalless draw at second bottom Hebburn. It was only the third time this season Shildon had failed to score in the league.
Ashington stay fourth after a 1-1 draw with Consett, both goals coming in stoppage time. Matthew Slocombe put Consett ahead but Andy Cuthbertson put a Glen Taylor cross through his own goal in Ashington’s next attack.
Whitley Bay caretaker manager Leon Ryan did his chances of getting the job on a permanent basis a power of good when they won 3-2 at Penrith.
Whitley took the lead through Jarret Rivers but Penrith levelled with a header by Stephen Rigg.
Shaun Gardner headed Penrith into the lead but Whitley scored twice in the last eight minutes through Tony Stephenson and Callum Hope.
Crook Town were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Bedlington.
When a shot by Adam Nicholls was blocked, Lewis Teasdale followed up to score, but Bedlington levelled through James Harmison from a free kick then went ahead when a shot by Paul King hit the post and bounced off Crook keeper Jack Norton into the net.
Crook levelled through Teesdale from a Nicholls through ball midway through the second half.
Marske United’s slide continued when they lost 2-0 at home to Billingham Synthonia.
Michael Sweet crossed for Mattie Osmond to head past Robbie Deane on 34 minutes, and five minutes after halftime Osmond beat the offside trap and set up Sweet to score from a few yards.
Sunderland RCA are fifth bottom after they were thumped 5-0 at Morpeth, who jumped four places following a Stephen Forster hat-trick.
Most of the promotion chasing teams in the second division dropped points, with only one of the morning’s top eight winning.
After a goalless first half, Northallerton took the lead when Dale Elgie fired home from the edge of the area, but six minutes later, Liam McBryde scored with an overhead kick from a right wing cross by Corey Barnes for his 24th league goal of the season.
Elgie, however, was dismissed four minutes from the end for his second yellow card.
Josh Home-Jackson scored after 35 minutes then Adam Johnston added goals either side of half-time. Home-Jackson made it 4-0, with Chris Mc- Cabe adding a late fifth.
West Allotment could only draw 0-0 at Birtley, while Heaton Stannington missed a chance to move closer to the top four when they lost 3-1 at home to Darlington RA.
Dean Deagle gave Heaton a half-time lead, but the RA bounced back in the last 15 minutes to win for the first time in eight matches. Sub Mark Sims scored twice and Adam Sakr fired a 30-yarder.
Bottom club Ryton and Crawcrook were hammered 7- 1 at home by Washington.
Chris Winn (2), Michael Coghlan (2), Mark Davison, Richie Paxton and James Fairley all scored for Washington.
Esh Winning won for the second time in four days, pulling off a good 3-2 win at Willington. Chris Hardy put the hosts into the lead, and after David Fort levelled for Esh, Adam Bowers put Willington 2-1 up at half-time. Esh dug deep in the second half, and scored through Graham Embleton and Gary Draper.
Brandon drew 0-0 at Chester-le-Street and Whitehaven lost 5-0 at Thornaby, who have won six of their last eight. David Wells scored an early penalty, the others coming from Ged Livingstone, Liam Woodhouse (2) and Callum Wilson.
Stokesley drew 1-1 at Alnwick after taking the lead with a goal by Callum Revely.
In the Evo-Stik League, Blyth won 1-0 win at King’s Lynn, Robbie Dale scoring after 69 minutes. Whitby lost 2-1 at home to Stamford, Graeme Armstrong scoring seven minutes from the end.