West Auckland put their title challenge back on track when they won 3-0 at Whitley Bay on Saturday.

West had only kept one clean sheet in the league this season before Saturday, but with new keeper Mark Bell in the team, they showed some fresh resilience to keep them fifth in the table.

“It was a very good performance,” said manager Gary Forrest. “The lads proved that when they apply themselves properly and listen to the instructions, they are a very good side. Mark Bell and the back four were very solid.”

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Nathan Fisher once again showed his quality when he scored his 21st goal of the season, turning well on the edge of the area and firing past the Whitley keeper, then just on half time, Fisher opened up the defence for Anthony Bell to sidefoot the second.

And midway through the second half it was all over when Amar Purewal scored with a towering header from an Adam Mitchell corner from the left.

Bishop Auckland let the lead slip against Ryhope CW and lost 3-1, putting them into the bottom five again.

Bishops took the lead when a shot by Andy Johnson was saved, but Shaun Ryder followed up and scored his first goal for the club. However, Ryhope quickly levelled when Matty Weirs scored from a through ball.

Bishops missed a couple of chances to regain the lead, and Ryhope’s Josh home-Jackson showed them how to take chances when he headed in on 73 minutes, and with two minutes left James Ellis made sure.

Newton Aycliffe climbed over Bishops with a good point at Consett in a 1-1 draw.

There were chances at both ends until David Dowson fired Consett ahead, but Kurt Matthews equalised for Aycliffe. James Winter, the Aycliffe keeper, pulled off a good save in the second half to preserve the point for his team.

Newton Aycliffe manager Deano Browne said; “We started really well and were on the front foot but a goalkeeping mistake let them take the lead and we had to work hard to get back into the game before half time. Consett were the better side in the second half but didn’t really create clear cut chances.”

In the second division, Crook Town manager Wilf Constantine quit soon after his side’s 5-1 home defeat by Thornaby. “I’ve resigned because I can’t attract better players financially,” he said.

Crook had a bad second half, conceding three times after Dan Pigg had put them back in the game in the first half.

Constantine took over in the middle of last season and guided Crook to safety after being in the relegation zone at one point, but Saturday’s defeat, their fifth in a row, put them fifth bottom in the table.

Tow Law’s 13 match unbeaten start to the season ended when they were beaten 3-2 at Whickham.

Chad Collins scored a hat trick for Whickham in the first 35 minutes, but Lewis Teasdale pulled a goal back before half time. Kai Hewitson’s goal near the end came too late for a revival.

Tow Law manager Steve Murray said; “The great run is over. We gave them a very poor three goal lead and it proved too much.”

Lawyers were knocked off the top because Northallerton won 2-1 at Ryton and Crawcrook thanks to a late penalty.

Liam Jarvie gave them a 15th minute lead from a rebound, but Rhys Harbottle levelled for Ryton. The game looked set for a draw until Nicky Martin scored from the spot in the last minute after Shaun Hudson was fouled.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “We were poor in too many positions and never got going, but we have to take the positive that we are getting the results when we’re playing poor. Ryton deserved more from the game.”

Willington had a good 4-1 victory over West Allotment at Hall Lane.

Damon Ellis pounced on a poor back pass to give Willington the lead, then Jack Bromley made it 2-0 from a Jeff Smith assist. After Allotment pulled a goal back, Matty Moffat dribbled through and scored the third, and in the last minute Conor Winter made it four from an acute angle.

Willington manager Rob Lee said; “It was a very good result. We looked comfortable leading 2-0 at half time but they scored and put us under a lot of pressure. But we scored twice more and took all three points.”

Darlington RA slipped up badly, by 5-1 at home to Brandon, and they drop to second bottom.

It all went wrong for them in the second half, when Brandon striker Vinny Gash scored his third hat trick of the season, with Steven Turnbull and Aaron Jackson getting the others. Phil Caley replied from the spot for the RA.

Darlington RA manager Peter Mulcaster said; “It was a very poor second half performance, but 5-1 flattered Brandon.”

Gash is now the top scorer in the second division with 15 goals.

Chester-le-Street enjoyed a good 1-1 home draw with Hebburn, equalising through Sam Walker two minutes from the end after Mechack Kanda had opened the scoring for Hebburn. Chester are now up to fourth bottom.

Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “We thoroughly deserved at least a point after dominating the first half. As expected Hebburn’s long ball tactics caused issues at the start of the second half and they capitalised on a setpiece. For the last 15 minutes we forced the game and deservedly equalised. It was a really pleasing performance, full of grit and determination, and not short on quality.”

Durham City were reasonably happy with a 3-3 draw at Blyth, although they were 2-1 and 3-2 up in the game. Sam Steele, Brad Hird and Chris Pattison scored their goals.

Durham manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “I was very pleased and proud of the performance from my players and really disappointed only to leave with a point. However given the financial position of both clubs I’m delighted we more than matched them in every department. It was a fantastic effort and I couldn’t be prouder.”