Bishop Auckland are up to third in the EBAC Northern League after a thrilling 5-1 home win over North Shields.

Bishops have been involved in some high-scoring games this season, and they are now past the half century mark of goals in just 17 league games – and they’re hoping that if this form continues, they can close the seven point gap on the top two.

Manager Ian Chandler said; “I was very happy with the display, especially the second half when we scored three fantastic goals added to a Michael Hoganson thunderbolt in the first half. It was a comfortable commanding game.”

Bishops took the lead on 13 minutes when Chris Winn headed in a Shaun Ryder cross, but that was cancelled out by an effort by Luke Carr.

But Bishops went back in front with a terrific 30 yarder by Michael Hoganson on 35 minutes, then Kyle Fryatt struck the third soon after the break.

Ryder made it 4-1 from an Andy Johnson assist, and then he scored the fifth with a long range strike.

Newton Aycliffe drew 2-2 with Whitley Bay, the visitors scoring their equaliser in stoppage time – the second successive week that Aycliffe have conceded a late costly goal.

Manager Deano Browne said; “Whitley Bay started the better team and probably deserved to go a goal up. After they scored, I feel as though we dominated the game. If we were a little bit more clinical in front of goal we could have scored four or five and put the game to bed.

“But when you don’t finish a team off, they are always in the game and they scored an equaliser against the run of play after we went down to ten men. We need to address the problem of not seeing a game out.”

Whitley took the lead through Kieran Brannen on 33 minutes, but Aycliffe hit back through Vinny Gash and Ben Wood. But Aycliffe had Marc Costello dismissed on 81 minutes, and six minutes into stoppage time Andrei Ardelean equalised.

In the other first division matches, leaders Dunston won 1-0 at Ashington and are unbeaten in 15 matches, while Consett thumped Seaham Red Star 7-2 at Belle View. Ryhope CW beat bottom club Penrith 3-2, while third bottom Whickham won 3-2 at fourth bottom Guisborough.

In the second division, Northallerton had a good 5-1 home win over Ryton and Crawcrook to keep them third in the table. Damon Reaks (2), Dan Jones (2) and Nicky Martin scored, with Sam Norris replying at 2-0.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “That was the best we have played for a while. Some of the passages of play were a joy to watch. Some of the chances we did not take were better than the goals we did score. That’s the level I want us at every week now as it will start putting pressure on the teams around us.”

Chester-le-Street recovered from some bad results by beating Washington 3-2 at Chester Moor.

Chester went 2-0 up with goals by Joe Hailes and Michael Hepplewhite, and after Washington pulled a goal back, Hepplewhite scored a third.

Manager Colin Wake said; ““I was very pleased with the application of the lads for the full 90 minutes. It wasn't the best performance but in the form that we have been in, a win is a win and it was an ugly win at that. There were three good goals in the game, two for us and one for them, so it was nice to get a result.”

Willington are still well in touch with the top three after they beat Crook Town 4-0 at Hall Lane with goals by Matty Moffat (2), Conor Winter and Michael Brown , with teenager Cameron Holliday replying for Crook. Willington are in sixth, seven points behind the promotion places.

Crook manager Jamie Tunstall said; “There were mixed feelings. It's never good to lose a game 4-1, but I don't think anyone in the ground thought that was a true reflection on the game. Goals change games and to dominate the first 25 minutes and concede two meant we were up against it. Second half we were the better side again. I think if we had scored from the penalty spot and we get back to 2-2 we were in the ascendency. But Willington took their chances and that was the difference.”

Second bottom Brandon won their third league game of the season at third bottom Esh Winning with goals by Chris Spence, Jordan Lee and Niall Fingleton after Esh’s Max Stoker missed an early penalty. Brandon are now five points behind Esh.

In the other games, leaders Billingham Town are still unbeaten in the league this season after they beat Jarrow 2-0, while Billingham Synthonia are now eighth after a Tom Bligh goal gave them the points at West Allotment.