Tow Law manager Geoff Young blasted his team after they were beaten 4-1 at home by league leaders Benfield Saints on Saturday.

After a promising start to the season, Lawyers have now lost four out of their last five matches, and have conceded 25 goals in that period.

Young stormed: "We're in a rut, and we need to get out of it soon.

"It is so deflating. The players should be more committed, and have more self-respect. Some of them packed in when we went 3-1 down, and that is not good enough. It was ridiculous the way we folded. The players must look at themselves."

Lawyers failed to hold on to the lead given them by Anth Lowther's strike early in the game.

Saints levelled through Alu Bangura from a free-kick, then Sean Bell scored with a powerful 30 yarder to put Saints into the lead.

Stephen Young scored his fifth league goal of the season from a rebound, then midfielder Tony Errington dribbled through the defence for the fourth.

Saints are now five points clear, because Billingham Synthonia dropped their first points of the season in a 3-0 defeat at Durham City.

After Craig Rand hit the post, City took the lead after 43 minutes when Jamie Howe crossed for Glen Robson to score from six yards.

Synners tried to level, but they were finished off by supersub Michael Mackay in the last 12 minutes.

He got the second with a right foot shot from the corner of the box, and then scored the third from a Robson pass, giving him seven goals for the season.

Esh Winning won their first game of the season, beating Shildon 2-0 to lift them out of the bottom three.

They took the lead just before half time when Adam Gawthorpe crossed from the left for David Lee to beat John Jackson.

They scored the second when Andy Cuthbertson set up Gary Messer, who ran from the halfway line and chipped the keeper.

Shildon have transferred ex-Darlington striker Lee Ellison to second division Crook Town.

Guisborough had a good away win, coming from behind to beat Whitley Bay 2-1 to lift them to fifth bottom.

Whitley missed some good chances before they took the lead after 56 minutes, when Adam Johnston headed in from a Lee Bell corner.

But Guisborough hit back immediately with a header by Lee Alexander, and then Simon Kasonali scored the winner from 20 yards.

Thornaby, who have signed striker Craig Skelton from Billingham Town, are three points adrift of the others after they lost 3-1 at home to Bedlington.

Thornaby's defending let them down early in the game when they failed to clear, and Anthony Shandran fired his first goal for Bedlington.

Shandran quickly scored a second with a header from a free kick, and was denied a first half hat-trick by a good save from Adrian Swan. Skelton pulled a goal back with five minutes left, but Shandran pounced to complete his hat-trick in the dying seconds.

Brandon dropped to second bottom after losing 4-1 at Dunston, for whom striker Graham Armstrong scored a first half hat-trick.

He opened the scoring with a low shot after just five minutes, and he scored two more before half-time, bursting clear of the defence and beating Brandon keeper Danny Yates.

Scott Bell pulled a goal back for Brandon early in the second half, but David Southern fired a fourth for Dunston.

Billingham Town and Peterlee drew 0-0 at Bedford Terrace in a match of few chances. Town had the edge in the first half, but Lee Ure hit the post and Carl Chillingsworth missed from close range.

Peterlee came more into the game after half-time, and Steve Pitman missed a good opportunity.

Peterlee have been boosted by the return of Danny Yale to the club after a spell at Whitby.

Jarrow Roofing are now fourth bottom after losing 3-2 at Morpeth.

Roofing twice came back from a goal down.

Paul Beavers and Michael Dickinson in turn put Morpeth into the lead, only for their goals to be cancelled out by Justin Perry and Chris McCabe. But Andy Dugdale scored the winner for Morpeth in the dying minutes.

Consett drew 1-1 at home with Ashington.

Consett took the lead when new signing Craig Tate and Neil Hood combined for Lee Suddes to volley home after 23 minutes, but Ashington levelled when Darren Timmons headed home a cross by Alex Lawson.

In the second division, Crook equalled a 57-year record when they won their fifth successive game, beating Easington 2-1.

Danny Mellanby fired them into the lead with a 30 yarder which went in off the post, then Darren Harrison broke clear to score the second. Danny Hawkins pulled a goal back for Easington in the second half.

Newcastle Blue Star, under new manager Andy Gowens, still have a 100 per cent record after they beat Kennek Ryhope CA 4-0, David Henderson (two), Rob Livermore and Michael Fenwick scoring their goals.

Washington's 100 per cent record ended when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Whickham. Stuart Anderson gave Washington an early lead, but Andy Elliott equalised for Whickham.

Leaders West Allotment suffered their first defeat as a league club, going down 3-1 at Penrith. Dan Broadley (two) and Willie Paul scored for the Cumbrians, Paul Willery equalised at one point for Allotment.

Evenwood are still bottom after they lost 2-1 at Alnwick, even though Stephen Houlahan put them into the lead.

Prudhoe are now third after they beat Seaham Red Star 3-1.

Ian Davison, Chris Baxter and Steve Mason scored for Prudhoe, with Calvin Magnus replying for Seaham from the spot.

Northallerton are now seventh after a 2-0 home win over Marske United, John Outhwaite and David Onions scoring the goals.

Washington Nissan beat South Shields 2-1, Gavin Cogdon scoring twice after Shields had taken the lead through Lee O'Donovan.