Favourites are off to a flyer

SHINING KNIGHT: Dennis Knight scores from the spot for West Auckland in their 4-0 win at Newton Aycliffe

EYES ON THE BALL: Aycliffe’s Tom Hinchley and West’s Ian Ward

First published in Sport
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SHILDON manager Gary Forrest warned about getting carried away after the Railwaymen thumped Billingham Synthonia 4-0 on the opening day of the EBAC Northern League season.

Shildon are the favourites to win the league, and showed they will be a force with two goals in each half against their visitors who lacked a finishing touch.

But Forrest isn’t drawing too many conclusions: “We’ve got to be really pleased with a 4-0 win. We scored twice in the first 25 minutes, and we coasted the rest of the first half, letting them back into the game.

“We could have scored more, but everybody has to remember that there are still 41 games to go. It’s a great start, but we’ve got to keep building. We’ll have a better idea of our chances after we’ve played Dunston on Tuesday.”

Shildon took the lead on ten minutes with a header by Paul Connor from a Micky Rae cross, and three minutes later Ben Wood scored from 25 yards.

Synners missed chances, and Shildon defender Carl Jones made them pay when he got the third with a looping header from a corner.

Lee Paul Scroggins fired a left footer into the top corner with 15 minutes left.

West Auckland manager Peter Dixon was also advising caution after the Vase finalists had a 4-0 win at Newton Aycliffe.

West gave a debut to Jordan Laidler, signed from Sunderland, and he gave them the lead after 16 minutes when a low shot by Dennis Knight was parried by Aycliffe keeper Jake Johnson for Laidler to react and prod home.

Aycliffe’s Denver Morris missed a good chance and Thom Hinchley hit the bar before Knight scored the second from the penalty spot.

In the second half, an Aycliffe defender headed the ball into his own net under pressure from Ward, then former Aycliffe striker Warren Byrne scored against his old club.

Aycliffe’s new manager Adrian Webster took the team’s warm up, delivered the team talk, and then quickly dashed to a nearby wedding. Former manager Allan Oliver, now chairman, took charge for the rest of the game.

Performance of the day came from Marske United, who stunned Dunston UTS 3-1 at the UTS stadium.

The League Cup winners took the lead on 12 minutes when Josh McDonald set up Freddie Woodhouse, who fired in from 25 yards. Robbie Deane pulled off a good save before Craig Gott added the second with a 35-yard free kick that Dunston keeper Liam Connell misjudged.

And Marske were in dreamland by half-time with a third by Austin Johnston, when the Dunston defence failed to clear. Dunston piled on the pressure, but only got one back, when Marske defender Adam Wheatley turned an Andy Bulford effort into his own net.

Bishop Auckland started with a 1-0 win at Celtic Nation, courtesy of a first half penalty when Nation keeper Ian Milburn brought down Bishops striker Johnny Butler, who tucked away the penalty.

Bishops twice hit the bar through Craig Lane, and then Milburn was dismissed for his second yellow, a handball offence.

Crook Town picked up a point in a 1-1 draw at second division champions North Shields.

Tony Stephenson fired them in front after 24 minutes, but Shields’ Dean Holmes equalised with four minutes left from a Gareth Bainbridge assist.

Guisborough were held to a goalless draw at home by Bedlington. Guisborough keeper Nick Liversedge pulled off two spectacular saves.

Durham City came from behind to beat Sunderland RCA 3-1.

RCA took the lead through Ross Preston’s header after five minutes, cancelled out by Olly Hotchkiss from the edge of the box. Durham improved after half time, and Callum Hope put them in the lead after a Hotchkiss effort bounced off the bar.

Hope got the third when he chipped the keeper from 25 yards.

Newcastle Benfield came back from 2-0 down at Morpeth to draw 2-2. Morpeth took the lead through Sean Taylor and a Michael Chilton penalty. Benfield’s Jack Errington was red carded, but when Morpeth had a man, Michael Hall sent off themselves, Benfield scored twice in the last 20 minutes through Paul Brayson and Gary Day.

Whitley Bay scored a late equaliser to draw 2-2 with Consett at Hillheads. Paul Chow put Whitley ahead after 12 minutes, but Consett levelled with Michael Mackay that went in off the post.

The Steelmen went 2-1 up through Michael Pearson but Whitley levelled when Chow was brought down in the area, and he tucked away the penalty.

Promoted Jarrow Roofing earned a point at Ashington after being 2-0 down.

Ashington took the lead thanks to a low cross by James Novak bypassed everyone and went into the net and a well-controlled strike by Marc Walton.

But with 15 minutes left Roofing’s new signing John Campbell scored from a Dan Kirkup pass, then Campbell controlled a flick on by Kirkup and fired high in. Kirkup and Jonathan Wright then hit the Ashington woodwork.

Another promoted team, West Allotment, arrived in the first division in style with a 3-0 win at Penrith, with two from David Dormand and one from Mark Fenwick.

Northallerton had a 10-0 stroll at last season’s bottom club Esh Winning. They got seven in the first half, with Martin Butterworth scoring a hat-trick, and Ross Teasdale, James Muir, Danny McLachlan and Aaron Ramsbottom getting the others. McLachlan, Muir and new signing Olly Smith added more.

Seaham Red Star won 1-0 at Heaton Stannington, David Palmer heading in.

Billingham Town, relegated last season, drew 1-1 at home to newcomers Ryhope CW. Alan Taylor put them into the lead on 30 minutes, but Ryhope levelled on the hour with a strike by Callum Charlton. Town had Drew Lambert dismissed late in the game following a scuffle.

Thornaby gave new manager Paul Edwards a good start with a 3-1 win at Birtley.

Clayton MacDonald gave Thornaby a 2-0 half time lead – the second of them a deep cross that the keeper misjudged – but Birtley launched a revival in the second half. Anthony Ward hit the bar, and then on the hour Daniel Maddison scored. They were caught on the break by sub Joe Melvin in stoppage time.

Darlington RA slipped up, 5-2 at home to Stokesley, after they took an early lead through Freddie Huscroft.

Gary Redman and Cameron Hood turned it around. RA levelled through Huscroft again on 76 minutes, but Stokesley surged forward and scored three times in the last 14 minutes with Hood completing his hat trick, and Mattie Crossen getting the other.

It was Crossen’s first appearance since recovering from a stroke last year.

A Liam Whitworth double gave Willington the points at home to South Shields. Barrie Smith cancelled out his opener with a penalty, before Whitworth got the winner on 70 minutes.

Chester-le-Street had their keeper sent off, but still drew 2-2 with Alnwick. Aiden Ames was dismissed for a foul which resulted in Adam Shanks scoring from the spot, but Chester hit back with a goal by Scott Heslop.

Tony Brown put Alnwick in front again, but Chester equalised through Mark Pattison.

Tow Law missed chances galore, and drew 1-1 at Brandon.

Simon Ord put them into the lead on 58 minutes, but Gary Thompson levelled.

Washington drew 2-2 with Norton. Mark Davison twice gave Washington the lead after 20 and 40 minutes, but Nicky Martin and Gary Mitchell cancelled the goals out.

Team Northumbria scored in the first minute against Whickham, and went on to win 3-0. Ben Dibb-Fuller scored twice, with Sam Norris getting the other.

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