Guisborough Town had no match last weekend, but relegation from division one now looks almost certain after they were deducted three more points by the league management committee last week.

The struggling Priorymen were docked the mandatory three points for fielding Chris Dunwell in January, unaware that he was suspended for offences committed while playing Sunday football.

He was out injured when the ban came through and was not informed by his Sunday club. He had just signed for the Priorymen from Bishop Auckland and Guisborough were not on his Sunday registration form, so they were not informed either.

It was their second offence this season as they were deducted three points for playing Paul Wilson while he was suspended in November.

This latest blow leaves Guisborough in deep trouble as they are now a massive ten points adrift of the safety zone.

Guisborough manager Steve Corden said: "We didn't know and neither did he. It is another example of how the system is flawed.

"There are too many grey areas and too many teams being caught out in circumstances beyond their control. That said, under the rules as they stand, we have no defence.

"We put our hands up to it as a club. To get caught out like this once is sloppy, but to get caught out twice in one season is a disgrace.

"This is a massive blow to us. We have to be realistic and say it takes us a step closer to relegation - but we won't be giving up."

Easington Colliery 0 Northallerton Town 2

NORTHALLERTON Town strengthened their position at the top of division two with a 2-0 victory at second-bottom Easington Colliery last Saturday.

They took advantage of second-placed Washington Nissan's surprise 4-3 defeat at mid-table Norton and Stockton Ancients and the postponement of games involving third-placed Newcastle Blue Star and fourth-placed West Allotment Celtic to go five points clear.

Town were always in control on a sticky mud-bath of a pitch and, after having the better of the early exchanges, they took the lead in the 31st minute through Craig Skelton.

The striker scored his 11th goal for the club since his arrival from Thornaby in January when he forced the ball home from close range following a goal-mouth scramble.

Easington matched the leaders for a brief spell, but they were unable to find a way past Town keeper Sam Dobbs, who was again in fine form.

Their hopes of salvaging something from the game ended ten minutes from time when Stephen Cochrane latched on to a headed flick from Skelton to beat home keeper Stuart Trotter with a shot from just inside the area.

Northallerton boosted their promotion hopes still further with a 3-1 win at sixth-placed Penrith on Tuesday night.

Skelton continued his rich vein of form by twice notching from the penalty spot, once in each half, with Colligan also on target.

Town are now in a very strong position, but the other three promotion challengers - Washington Nissan, Newcastle Blue Star and West Allotment Celtic - have all yet to visit the Calvert Stadium and have games in hand.

Northallerton have a very attractive home game tomorrow when third-placed Newcastle Blue Star are the visitors.

Manager Paul Burton said this is the start of a vital run-in for Town and he urged as many spectators as possible to attend the game and get behind his side as they challenge for a place in the Albany Northern League top flight next season. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Town are again at home on Wednesday when they entertain Evenwood Town in the League Cup, kick-off 7.30.