Former player James Fairley came back to haunt Bishop Auckland when he scored twice in his new club Marske’s 6-1 win at Mount Pleasant on Saturday.

Fairley was transferred to Marske from Bishops on Friday, and he played a key role as Marske maintained their 100 per cent record in the league with five wins from five games, and pushed Bishops into the bottom three.

But once again poor defending by Bishops let them down – they have the worst defensive record in the league with 27 goals conceded -- and manager Colin Myers said; “We held our own for the first 60 minutes, but then fell apart in the last 30.”

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Bishops fell behind to an 8th minute goal by Adam Wheatley and they were in the game until Wheatley set up Danny Earl for the second on 55 minutes.

Fairley then scored the third when he dribbled through the Bishops defence and fired home, then after Andy Johnson pulled a goal back, he scored the fourth after he played a 1-2 with Craig Gott.

Sub Connor Short and Reece Kelly added further goals.

West Auckland are back on top of the table after winning 3-1 at fourth bottom Washington, scoring all of their goals in the first half.

Nathan Fisher was on target with his 13th league goal of the season with a good turn and finish then Amar Purewal crossed for Fisher to get his second. Purewal set up the third for Adam Mitchell to score with a 20 yarder before half time.

Matty Waters pulled a goal back for Washington in the second half, but by then West were home and dry.

West Auckland manager Gary Forrest said; “It was a comfortable win, we went 3-0 up then switched off and stopped playing. We have a young inexperienced side and we need to learn to stay focused for 90 minutes.”

West are on top because previous leaders Morpeth went down 3-0 at Seaham Red Star.

Newton Aycliffe manager Deano Browne admitted that his team produced their worst display of the season when they lost 2-0 at home to Team Northumbria, for whom Andre Ardelean scored after 5 minutes then Scott Gunn scored from the penalty spot in the second half after Aycliffe keeper James Winter was shown his second yellow card. Both teams missed penalties in the first half.

Browne said; “It was our worst performance of the season and a well deserved 2-0 victory for them. If they were clinical it could have been more, there were no real positives from our point of view and the lads know that they need to do better.”

In the second division, Tow Law are now top on their own after they beat Chester-le-Street 1-0 at Ironworks Road, and stretched their unbeaten start to the season to nine matches.

Lewis Teasdale, who scored a hat trick in midweek after signing from Consett scored the only goal on 15 minutes.

Tow Law manager Steve Murray said; “We had ten players missing so the players dug deep and picked up the three points, a clean sheet and extended our unbeaten run at the top.” It was a good day in all.”

Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “It was a much better performance by the players and they definitely deserved something from the game. One mistake by my centre forward cost us the game, giving the ball away cheaply in an important area of the field. Apart from that we dealt with their threats well and were unlucky not to claim an equaliser which our good approach play deserved.”

Northallerton , who were previously level with Tow Law , were held to a goalless draw by battling Brandon, but they are still unbeaten in seven matches.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “I felt that if we had taken the early chances that came our way it would have been a different game . However, as the game wore on, Brandon grew in confidence and deserved something from the game for their workrate and effort. We are still unbeaten since the opening day and finding our feet. It’s all positive.”

Willington bounced back from their 6-1 thumping in midweek at Tow Law, by winning 3-1 at Thornaby, their second away win of the season.

Damon Ellis, Connor Lowes and Lewis Milner scored their goals before Thornaby scored a consolation late in the game.

Willington manager Rob Lee, who gave a debut to former Bishop Auckland player Jeff Smith, said; “It was a very good result and we took our chances well.”

Esh Winning had a good win, beating Alnwick 3-0 with goals by Daniel Kent and an own goal before half time, and another by Jonathan Swift halfway through the second half.

Esh Winning manager Tony Boakes said; “It was a great effort from us. We battled well and took our chances. It was a good all round team performance.”

Crook Town are in seventh after they beat Bedlington 3-1 at the Millfield. Summer signing Liam Hogan scored two of the goals on 12 and 39 minutes, with Danny Pigg scoring the other on 70 minutes. Sam Norris had earlier cancelled out Hogan’s first goal.

Darlington RA had a good victory, by 1-0 away at Hebburn, David Mitchell scoring the goal that mattered on 35 minutes. The RA are now up to fifth from bottom.

Darlington RA manager Peter Mulcaster said; “It was a great performance by my players against a good side who will definitely be in the mix at the end of the season.”

Durham City drew 2-2 with Ryton and Crawcrook at Hall Lane after being two goals down at half time, Callum Smith and Ben Joyeux scoring the goals.

Durham manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “We’re disappointed with just a point. We played poorly in the first half and deserved to be two down. We need to be better starting games. I’m pleased we came back to rectify a point but ultimately need to be better overall.”