Bedlington, the Division One title favourites, suffered a setback when they lost 4-3 at Jarrow Roofing on Monday night.

They even had the advantage of being in the lead twice, taking the lead in the opening minute through Brian Rowe.

Roofing levelled when Tony Woodhouse scored and went 2-1 up when Micky Irving set up Craig Stoker to score with a header after 42 minutes. Bedlington levelled just after half-time though Phil Hildreth from 30 yards. The champions went 3-2 up through Robbie Cockburn after 49 minutes, but Roofing stormed back. Paul Chow robbed a defender on the edge of the box and steered the ball home on the hour, and after 70 minutes he got the winner from a Danny Haley pass.

The following night, Durham's title chances suffered a blow when they were held 1-1 at home by Guisborough whose keeper Martin Balls gave a sparkling performance in goal, pulling off several good saves to deny the Durham.

Micky Dunwell and Stuart Brightwell also missed good opportunities as Guisborough grew in confidence.

They hit the bar through Steve Ritchie and Durham keeper Marc Riches made a good save from Richie Storr, before Michael Carter scored at the second attempt with nine minutes left.

However, Stuart Brightwell fired an equaliser from the edge of the box in the last minute

Former Darlington and Bishop Auckland striker Lee Ellison made his debut for Durham, after signing for this game only from UniBond League Barrow.

Durham are now eight points clear of second-placed Peterlee whose game at Morpeth was postponed.

Dunston Federation moved into third after scoring twice in the second half to beat West Auckland 2-0.

Tony Healer put them in the lead from close range after 47 minutes, then recent signing Paul Dalton fired the second after 65 minutes.

Billingham Synthonia needed a last-minute goal from Dean McGee to gain a 1-1 draw with Marske United who took the lead after 47 minutes through a Chris Reeve header from Greg Booth's cross but Synners levelled in the last minute with a 25-yarder from McGee.

The other First Division game on Tuesday between Whitley Bay and Hebburn was goalless.

Peterlee narrowed the gap on leaders Durham on Wednesday night to five points when they beat Seaham Red Star 4-1 with four goals in the last ten minutes.

Seaham looked set for a win after Gary McDonald fired them into the lead before half-time, but Peterlee showed their credentials with four goals in the closing stages. John Outhwaite scored with a volley from the edge of the box after 80 minutes, and a couple of minutes later Brian Fairhurst's shot was blocked and Paul Hinton scored from the rebound. Stuart Jewson got the third from Karl White's cross, and Anthony Green ran through for the fourth in the last minute.

Consett beat Tow Law 3-1 at Belle Vue. Alan Batey put Consett in front from a corner after 13 minutes, but Paul Richardson equalised. Tony Halliday restored Consett's lead on the hour from close range and made it 3-1 from a free-kick seven minutes later.

Easington are still in the bottom three after losing 2-1 at Billingham Town. Easington defender Paul Brown put a Robbie Hutchinson cross into his own goal to give Town the lead after 27 minutes but Gavin Naylor equalised from a free-kick after 55 minutes. Carl Chillingsworth dribbled past two defenders to score the winner after 70 minutes.

Ashington went top of the Second Division on Tuesday night with a 2-0 home win over Whickham, Greg Peary and Steve Robson scoring the goals.

Horden missed a chance to go second when they lost 1-0 at Penrith, Michael Hodgson scoring after 25 minutes.

South Shields lost ground when they were beaten 3-1 at home by Murton, who took the lead after 19 minutes through Dale Baxter after Graham Best's shot was blocked. Jason Jones levelled direct from a free-kick after 26 minutes, but Dale Robinson put Murton back into the lead from the edge of the box after 51 minutes, with Best getting the third after 64 minutes.

On Wednesday night, Washington moved into second place after beating Thornaby 3-1, with goals from Paul Robinson (2) and Lee O'Donovan, George Woodhouse replying.

Shildon knocked Esh Winning's promotion chances with a 2-1 win at Dean Street. Dean Smithson put Esh into the lead from a Neil Emmerson free kick after eight minutes but Doug Grant levelled from a rebound after 21. Dale White forced the ball home in a goalmouth scramble with just three minutes remaining.

Norton also moved closer to the leaders with a 1-0 win over Shotton, James Galliford scoring.

l Second Division club Penrith have announced plans to move to a new ground in the town after a successful bid by a supermarket chain to develop their Southend Road home. A condition of the deal is that a new ground is provided for them.

l The Albany Durham Challenge Cup final between Brandon and Bishop Auckland has been arranged for May 7 (kick off 10.45 am) at Durham City.

l Four matches are kicking-off early tomorrow to avoid clashing with the England-Finland game. The quartet are: Billingham Synthonia v Newcastle Blue Star (noon), Seaham v Morpeth, Tow Law v Peterlee and Guisborough v Hebburn (all 1pm).