Shildon put their title challenge back on track when they comfortably beat Stockton Town 3-0 at Dean Street on Saturday.

The third placed Railwaymen had lost their previous two league games to slip further behind the top two, but there was no doubt about the outcome of this game against their below-par opponents once they took the lead.

Shildon boss Danny Moore said; “It was great to get back to winning ways. We created loads of chances early on, and we could have scored a few more. We played some good football, put the ball in the right areas, and caused them problems all the way through the game.”

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They went a goal in front early on when Stockton keeper Liam Jordan punched a Moore free kick into his own net, and they should have scored more goals before Matty Robson cut in from the left and fired a low right foot shot that went into the net off the post before half time.

Shildon stayed well in control, and it was no surprise when Lewis Dodds scored the third right at the end.

West Auckland are still nicely in sixth place in the table thanks to a 1-0 away win at Ashington, although they finished the game with ten men after defender Ross Colquhoun was shown a straight red for a foul on 76 minutes. Ashington’s Dale Pearson was shown red earlier in the game for a foul.

The all-important goal came after 10 minutes when Ben Wood split the Ashington defence for Anthony Bell to run through hand slip the ball past the keeper.

West Auckland manager Gary Forrest said; “Another 1-0 win which I’m delighted with, although it should have been more. Matty Wade played very well until he tired.”

Bishop Auckland eased their relegation worries when they won 3-0 at bottom club Billingham Synthonia to put them nine points clear of the relegation zone, as the other teams in the bottom three both lost.

Bishops took the lead after 10 minutes when Michael Hoganson set up Thomas McAloon to sidefoot home, and that allowed them to take command of the game. They missed several chances before Andre Bennett scored the second from long range just before the hour, and Hoganson fired the third late on.

Bishop Auckland manager Colin Myers said; “It was a good solid performance, and we’re really pleased with a clean sheet. We just need to be more clinical in front of goal. A couple of players started for the first time and they certainly took their opportunity.”

Newton Aycliffe are just above Bishop Auckland on goal difference after they drew 0-0 at Sunderland RCA.

Newton Aycliffe manager Deano Browne said; “It was a good point away to RCA because it’s a difficult place to go to. Both teams had chances in the first half, but RCA were the better team in the second half and will be disappointed not to get three points. We hit them on the break a couple of times and could have snatched a win but RCA missed a lot of chances to win the game late on.”

In the second division, Northallerton are now three points clear at the top after beating Ryton and Crawcrook 2-0.

They took the lead with a good effort by Aaron Ramsbottom, and on 9 minutes Chris Dickinson made it 2-0 from the penalty spot.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “I was very pleased with the performance. I thought the players managed the game very well against a well-drilled team, restricting them to long range shots. At the other end we created numerous chances with patient play. It was a very good day on a greasy surface.”

Durham City won their second successive game against a promotion contender when they defeated Hebburn 3-1 at Hall Lane.

Hebburn took the lead through Gary Shaw, but Durham hit back in the second half with goals by Nicky Allen, Craig Hennis and Sam Steele to put them eighth in the table.

Durham manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “It was an outstanding win against a very good Hebburn side. We had a slow start but grew into the game and showed great character to come from a goal behind and win. We dominated the second half and deserved the win. The players deserve enormous praise.”

Willington are also on the up after winning 2-0 at Billingham Town with goals by Conor Winter and Mattie Moffat to put them in 11th spot.

Willington manager Rob Lee said; “It was another good three points. A goal in each half gave us all three points. We’re very pleased with our performance against a good Billingham side.”

Crook Town picked up a very good point from a 3-3 away draw at Heaton Stannington, to put them six points above the bottom two.

David Paul scored twice for Crook, with Chris Emms earning a point with four minutes left against the third placed team.

Crook manager Chris Lax said; “It was a fantastic result for us. We would have taken a point beforehand but really thought we deserved three, but a couple of individual errors prevented that.”

Chester-le-Street are now up to seventh from bottom thanks to their best win of the season over bottom club Alnwick by 5-1 with goals by Michael Hepplewhite (2), Andy Clarkson, Alex White and Lee Mole.

Manager Colin Wake said; “We’re delighted with the performance and the goals scored. It could and should have been more in the end, but that’s me being greedy. Alnwick were always a threat in the first half and played good football which we didn’t deal with, but after the break we coped better and still continued to threaten every time we went forward. We scored five and hit the woodwork a couple of times so a good afternoon and a pleasing three points.”

Esh Winning had a day that they would rather forget, being hammered 9-1 at Thornaby, although their cause wasn’t helped by the first half dismissal of Max Stoker for two bookable offences. Kai Hewitson scored their goal.

The game between Brandon and Tow Law was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch. Brandon are hoping to announce their new manager soon.

The draw for the third round of the Brooks Mileson Northern League Cup is: Dunston UTS v Billingham Synthonia, Morpeth Town v Willington, Durham City v Ryhope CW, Seaham Red Star v Easington Colliery, Whitley Bay v Penrith, Consett or Tow Law v Newcastle Benfield, Bishop Auckland or Heaton Stannington v Guisborough Town, North Shields v Stockton Town.

The draw for the third round of the Ernest Armstrong Cup is: Durham City or Thornaby v Hebburn Town or Esh Winning, West Allotment Celtic v Chester-le-Street, Ryton and Crawcrook Albion v Tow Law Town or Bedlington Terriers, Blyth AFC or Northallerton Town v Willington or Alnwick