West Auckland have dropped four points off the pace near the top of the league after they were beaten 3-2 by leaders Morpeth on Saturday.

West have had a tough run of games recently, and they were beaten by a Morpeth side that has only lost once this season.

Manager Gary Forrest said; “We played well, and should have got something from the game. Individual mistakes cost us but overall we were the better side.”

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Morpeth took the lead after 4 minutes when Joe Walton scored from a Liam Henderson pass, but Nathan Fisher levelled with a great run and strike from the edge of the box.

Morpeth went 2-1 up when Sean Taylor headed in, and then went further ahead just before the hour when Ben Sayer’s shot was blocked and Taylor tapped in.

Fisher though kept West in the game with another powerful shot from the edge of the box after he’d cut in from the left, his 18th league goal of the season.

West have been joined in level second by Dunston and Consett, who have both played fewer games.

Newton Aycliffe, meanwhile, are now in the bottom two after they lost their clash by 2-0 at Washington.

Newton Aycliffe manager Deano Browne said; “We had nine or ten people away or missing but that’s no excuse for another poor performance. The lads are working really hard in games and in training, if we keep doing that, results will come.”

Bishop Auckland were beaten heavily 4-0 at home by Team Northumbria, and coupled with wins for Stockton Town and Washington, have now dropped into the bottom three again.

Bishop Auckland manager Colin Myers said; “We were poor from start to finish.”

Bishops have conceded 21 goals in their last five matches.

In the second division, Tow Law are now unbeaten in eleven league matches after they won 4-2 at Ryton and Crawcrook after being two goals down at one point. Dean Thexton scored a hat trick to put him at the top of the second division goalscoring charts.

Sam Moore and Paddy Gibbons put Ryton 2-0 up by the 20th minute, but Dean Thexton and Lewis Teasdale pulled the Lawyers level by half time.

Thexton then scored twice in the last fifteen minutes to give his side the points, and eleven goals for himself this season.

Tow Law manager Steve Murray said; “We were 2-0 down early on but we turned it around. That’s eight straight wins now, which is very pleasing.”

Second placed Northallerton recovered from their midweek defeat to beat Alnwick for the second time in a week by 5-2. They were 2-1 down at half time though, until Northallerton took complete control in the second half. Aaron Ramsbottom (2) Nicky Martin (2) and Shaun Hudson scored the goals.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “It was the opposite performance to last week. We got off to a slow start probably because of the travelling. We were very clinical again in the second half. We took our chances well, they were all very different goals, but team goals that were very pleasing to see.”

Willington have now won their last four matches after beating Jarrow 1-0 at Hall Lane, Conor Winter scoring after half an hour.

Willington manager Rob Lee said; “It was a good result for four wins out of four. A good save from Lewis Graham in the last minutes saved the points.” They are now twelfth in the table, Esh Winning had an excellent 1-1 draw at promotion chasing Billingham Town, Callum Boakes earning a point with a great 25 yarder.

“I thought we were much better in the second half and it was a great strike from Callum Boakes that found the net for a hard-earned point,” said manager Tony Boakes.

Darlington RA manager Peter Mulcaster blasted his players after they lost their bottom of the table clash by 3-0 at West Allotment, former Darlington striker Shaun Reay scoring twice.

Darlington RA manager Peter Mulcaster said; “It was a totally embarrassing performance, some players aren’t up for the fight.”

Crook Town had a bad day, beaten 5-0 at Blyth, for whom Gary Day scored four, and they have now dropped down to tenth.

Chester-le-Street were also well beaten, by 5-1 at home to Thornaby, and manager Colin Wake said; “We were dreadful. Our defenders were hesitant, our midfielders were uncomfortable in possession and the forwards gave the ball away too cheaply. Too many players think they are better than what they are and until they get back to basics they will struggle.” Chester have dropped to second bottom, above the RA on goal difference.

Brandon lost 3-1 at home to Hebburn, with new signing Jack Pounder scoring their goal. Brandon are now third bottom.

Easington manager Paul Frame resigned after his team were held to a 5-5 draw at Heaton Stannington.