STRIKER Wayne Pratt grabbed a brace for Horndale as the Newton Aycliffe side won their Division Two top-of-the-table clash with Brawns Den.

Brawns Den, who slipped down to seventh following the defeat, could still win promotion if they win their games in hand.

But they suffered a crushing defeat last week when two goals by Pratt and one each from Gary Rogers and Scott Mason ensured Horndale's vital win.

"I thought we played very well and deserved the win," said Horndale manager Mickey Grimes. "The wind spoiled the game a bit, but I thought we put in an excellent performance.

"It was a big game for us and one we needed to win if we are to stay in contention for promotion. Adrian Cox was man-of-the-match, but I thought Adrian Musgrave also played very well."

Meanwhile, Eldon Arms eventually got the better of title-chasing Green Tree in a closely-fought encounter.

Eldon began the season well after joining the league only last year, but a dip in form saw them slide down the table.

However, this impressive win over sixth-placed Green Tree saw them jump two places to sixth last week.

"It was a very close game, but I think we were deserved winners in the end," said Eldon boss John Bloxsom. "We were holding on and had our backs against it towards the end when they threw everything at us for an equaliser, but I think we defended very well.

"We started the season quite well but then tailed off a bit. Hopefully, this result can help us to get going again and we can start climbing the table."

Andrew Sams (2) and Lee Nevison scored for Eldon, with Andrew Walton and Andrew Appleton scoring for the Tree.

Green Tree manager Craig Stevens said: "I'm very disappointed with the result. I think we did enough to win at least a point and we had what we thought was a perfectly good goal disallowed two minutes from time.

"Having said that, they punished us for mistakes earlier in the game and took their chances, while we have wasted ours, so that's just the way it goes!"

Elsewhere in Division Two, Binchester Hotel beat Masons United 4-0 thanks to goals by Craig Woods, Gary Robinson, David Leary and David Parker.

In Division One last week, Brandon won a seven-goal, relegation dog-fight with Beehive.

New signing David Henry scored a hat-trick, while Graham Stobbs (2) and Andrew Stuart were also on the scoresheet.

"That was a much-needed win," said their manager Kevin Williams. "We'd been going through a rough patch and we needed a win - and this was an important game so the three points could be vital."

Williams singled out Henry for praise. "I was delighted for him," he said. "He's just signed for us and it was only his second game - but he did very well." Jeff Dunn, Jonathan Hall and Mark Pattinson scored for Beehive.

Meanwhile, Lakeside beat Eldon Lane 6-3 as striker Marc De Lucia netted four goals. Morgan Fielding and Dave Welsh also scored, while Scott Wright (2) and Michael Davison scored for Eldon.

Old Shildon beat Salvins 3-0 with goals by Kevin Russell, Paul Whensley and Philip Appleby.

Results round-up, Sunday, January 26: Division One: Loves 2, Thorns 3; Tudhoe Utd 4, Binchester SC 4; Old Shildon 3, Salvins 0; Brandon 6, Beehive 3; Eldon Lane 3, Lakeside 6.

Division Two: Victoria 3, Two Blues 1; Boot & Shoe 1, Cumby Arms 3; Horndale 4, Brawns Den 0; Eldon Arms 3, Green Tree 2; Masons Utd 0, Binchester Hotel 4.