Tow Law manager Graeme Forster has paid tribute to his "fab back four" despite defeat at Bedlington last Saturday.

Because of injuries and unavailability, Forster put together an untried, but very experienced quartet of players with a total age of 145 - Andy Sinclair, Jeff Hall, Micky Bailey and Darren Darwent.

Forster said: "It was probably the oldest back four the club has ever fielded."

Crook Town have parted company with assistant manager David Styles who was appointed assistant manager to Dennis Pinkney before Christmas. Richard Huntley has been appointed as joint manager with Pinkney for the rest of the season.

Morpeth have been given permission by their local council play home games. They were unable to play at Craik Park because of the foot and mouth restrictions.

Marske United are through to the League Cup final for the first time after winning 2-0 at West Auckland on Tuesday night. Both goals came in the first half.

Ben Sankey ran through for the first early in the game, then just before half time, Ben Thompson scored the second from a corner.

Marske will play Bedlington in the final, after they beat Brandon 3-0 the following night. Bedlington took the lead after six minutes through John Milner, his 41st of the season, then Tony Chapman scored twice in a minute before the break.

The defeat dashes Brandon's hopes of playing in two cup finals, as they already have the Durham Challenge Cup final to look forward to on May 7.

Peterlee's title hopes suffered a blow on Wednesday night when they lost 1-0 at home to Dunston. The only goal of the game came midway through the second-half, when Tony Healer chested down a left wing cross from Nicky Scaife, and fired into the bottom corner.

Dunston are now six points behind leaders Durham, with five games in hand. Peterlee are three points ahead of them, and played two games more.

However, champions Bedlington still have fourteen games remaining in fourth place, and are 13 points off the pace.

Easington are still looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone after losing 3-0 at home to Tow Law on Tuesday. Lawyers took the lead early in the game when Nigel Bolton won the ball inside the Easington box and set up Andy McKenna to score from a few yards.

McKenna, a former Easington player, got the second with a lob from the edge of the box, and after 70 minutes Scott Nicholson dribbled through for the third.

Tow Law gave an outing to John Borthwick, who agreed to return to help his old club out of an injury crisis.

Hebburn have almost given up hope after losing 3-0 at home to Billingham Synthonia who took the lead after 12 minutes through Tony Wood and on the half hour David Wells set up Andy Ripley for the second.

Hebburn player-manager Tony Robinson had a 57th minute penalty saved by Synners keeper Gary Popple and Synners made sure after 81 minutes when Chris Fawcett headed in a Glen Corkain corner.

Chester-le-Street drew 0-0 with Newcastle Blue Star.

Chester hit a post twice through Gary Shields, while they also had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down.

In the Second Division, Thornaby have now dropped out of the top three after wins for their promotion contenders. Ashington remain top after beating bottom club Eppleton 3-1, with goals from Alex Lawson, Marc Irwin and Greg Peary.

Second-placed Washington won 2-1 at Alnwick thanks to two goals from Paul Robinson. And Horden moved third after crushing Norton 5-2 at Welfare Park. John Cowley, Alan Hoey, Dale Crawford, and Craig Stevens (2) got the goals, with Alan Hughes replying for Norton.

On Wednesday night, Shildon beat Whickham 2-0. David Brumpton scored the first with a header while Tim Asquith fired the second from long range.

Northallerton stayed in touch with the leaders thanks to a 1-0 win over Shotton, Nicky Ward breaking through after 65 minutes.

Willington secretary Bob Nichols has seen plenty of goals during his long spell at the club, but he saw one of the most spectacular on Wednesday night - unfortunately it was at the wrong end.

Kennek Ryhope midfielder Philip Meek scored his side's second goal after 35 minutes , with a long distance lob over the Willington keeper from the halfway line.

"I don't think I've seen one from that far out before," said Nichols. "He was only a step inside our half, hit the ball just right and caught our keeper off his line. "I know our pitch is 111 yards long, so I would say that he was 55 yards out." James Curtis and Simon Andrews scored the other goals for Ryhope.