Crook Town were knocked off the top of the ENL second division by Carlisle City on Saturday – and manager Jamie Tunstall took the responsibility for it.

The Millfield men were beaten 2-1 at home by the Cumbrians who take over at the top of the table instead.

“A terrible first half performance cost us the game, “said Tunstall.

“We had to make changes after half an hour because our shape wasn’t right which I take responsibility for. Second half we have brayed the door down and I’m not sure how we’ve not got the equaliser.

“They’ve defended resolutely but we’ve given ourselves a mountain to climb. We got what we deserved for our first half display.”

Crook, who suffered only their third defeat of the season in ten games, are now tied for second place with Easington. They were two goals down inside 30 minutes, with Joe Hillerby pulling a goal back in the second half.

In the first division, Shildon had a good 5-2 away win at Thornaby to put them into fifth.

Assistant manager Mark Hudson said; “We blew Thornaby away in the first twenty minutes and the damage was done then. After that we just managed the game. We got two quick goals in the second half and to be fair to Thornaby they came back at us. I think that was down to our lads tiring a little as we’ve gone with the same eleven in the last three games.

“We were comfortable throughout the game and the run continues. We’re playing well and looking solid as a unit.”

Dean Thexton and Aiden Heywood put Shildon 2-0 up inside the first 15 minutes, then Thexton and a Jamie Poole own goal made it 4-0 just after half time. Thornaby pulled goals back through Dale Hopson and Jamie Davis, but Ben Trotter made it 5-2 near the end.

Shildon are now unbeaten in their last six league and cup matches.

Newton Aycliffe were held to a 1-1 draw at Moore Lane by Whickham, and they stay in third.

Manager Colin Stromsoy said; “Whickham were exceptionally well-organised. They got men behind the ball very quickly and were very hard to break down. However, we did create some good chances, but similar to our game against Whitley Bay, we failed to take them.

“Only the referee can say why he failed to give one of three stonewall penalties in my view. The last one was so blatant that even the Whickham supporters and management were saying it was so ridiculous.”

Scott Robson put Whickham ahead just after half time, but Lewis Walton equalised.

West Auckland won 1-0 away at third bottom Seaham Red Star, Adam Wrightson scoring seven minutes after half time.

Manager Gary Forrest said; “I was disappointed to be honest because we need to look after the ball better. Some players need to step up. That said, it’s three points and a clean sheet, although Seaham will feel aggrieved that they got nothing for their efforts.”

Bishop Auckland picked up only their second point of the season when they produced a much-improved performance to draw 1-1 with North Shields at Heritage Park.

Manager Andy Toman said; “It was nice to get another point against an excellent team. All the hard work that we’d done – getting new players in, watching the opposition and putting a plan together – all paid off.”

Dan Wilson put Shields into the lead, but Bishops’ hard work paid off when Jack Connor equalised seven minutes from the end.

Northallerton lost 3-0 at Sunderland RCA to put them 13th in the table.

In the other second division games, Chester-le-Street had one of the best results of the day, winning 3-1 at second placed West Allotment, their second away win in the space of 48 hours after beating Esh Winning on Thursday night.

Manager Colin Wake said; “It was a thoroughly disciplined performance and a deserved three points ended a good week for us.

“We were 3-1 up at half time and West were reduced to ten men and we saw the game out with ease after playing 48 hours earlier, which meant legs were tired for the last 30 minutes. Overall it was a great team performance.”

Even though they fell behind early on, Chester hit back with goals by Liam Dixon (2) and Owen Henderson.

Tow Law gained revenge for an early season defeat at the hands of Ryton and Crawcrook by beating them 3-2 in the return games.

Tow Law manager Micky Vasey said; “It was a very good win because it’s a hard place to go to, but in bad conditions we dug in.”

After Ryton took an early lead, Mason Hurworth, Michael Brown and Barrie Smith put them on the path to victory.

Esh Winning were beaten 7-0 at Easington, for whom Jack Pounder scored four. Manager Tony Boakes said; “It was one of those games. We got selection and a few things wrong. Fair play to Easington they put us to the sword.”

Brandon pulled off a good 1-1 draw at Newcastle University, Rob White scoring their goal, while Durham City’s misery at the bottom continued when they were beaten 5-2 at Washington, Calvin Payne and Abdul Wahab scoring their goals. Willington were beaten 2-0 at home by Redcar Athletic.