Bishop Auckland kept the pressure on the other clubs in the title race when they beat Newcastle Benfield 3-1 at Heritage Park on Saturday.

Bishops are now in second place in the table, having overtaken Consett, who were held to a 3-3 draw at home by Whitley Bay. They are a point behind Dunston, having played two games more, and hopes are high that they can remain in the top two and clinch a promotion place – although promotion for finishing second isn’t guaranteed in the end of season shake up by the FA.

Bishop Auckland manager Ian Chandler said; “I was delighted with the performance against a very good Benfield team. We scored three great goals, and man of the match was keeper Nick Liversedge but we played quite well also. “ Bishops took an early lead with a header by Kieran Galbraith, and after Liversedge made a couple of good saves, Kyle Fryatt dribbled through at the other end and scored the second.

Liversedge again made two more good stops before Andy Johnson raced through and beat Andy Grainger at the other end, then Paul Brayson pulled a late goal back for Benfield.

Dunston UTS, meanwhile, were too strong for Newton Aycliffe at Moore Lane, and ran out 5-2 winners to go top of the table.

Aycliffe were a goal down on 17 minutes, and they didn’t help themselves when defender Josh Rodgers was sent off for a professional foul. They went 3-0 down before Marc Costello pulled a goal back, and 5-1 down before Stuart Thompson pulled a goal back in the last minute.

Aycliffe have signed their former striker Warren Byrne and another forward, Josh Home-Jackson.

West Auckland suffered a setback when they were beaten 2-0 at Sunderland RCA.

They went behind when Jordan Lavery’s cross was turned past his own keeper by West defender Jamie Cobain, then Mark Davison fired the second with 15 minutes left.

West midfielder Adam Mitchell was sent off near the end.

Shildon have now won six of their last seven after defeating Seaham Red Star 3-2 at Dean Street.

Nathan Steel headed Shildon into the lead, and then on the half hour he held off a challenge and fired the second in off the post.

It was 3-0 just on half time when Ben Trotter scored from the loose ball after Zak Atkinson’s effort was saved, but Seaham fought back in the second half with goals by Curtis Coppen and Paul Gardiner, before Coppen was red carded.

Shildon manager Danny Moore said; “It was disappointed with the second half after dominating the first half but it's another three points on the board.”

In the other first division games, Stockton won 2-1 at Whickham and are now fifth, and Guisborough beat North Shields 2-0 at the king George.

Hebburn dropped to seventh after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Ryhope CW.

Bottom club Penrith won for the first time this season in the league when they won 2-0 at Ashington.

In the second division, Northallerton are still six points behind second placed Thornaby with two games in hand after they won 3-0 at West Allotment, with goals by Aaron Ramsbottom, Chris Emms and an own goal.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “I felt we got a good reaction from last week’s defeat. We did all the damage in the first half, and after they had a man sent off, the game became a non- event.”

Chester-le-Street, who are level on points with Northallerton but have a worse goal difference, had a few problems before beating Durham City 3-1.

Anthony Chapman gave bottom club Durham a shock lead, but Jack Oliver (2) and new signing Harry Wood hit back for Chester. Durham had Max Thomas sent off when the score was 2-1.

Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “It was a very disappointing performance even though we got a positive result in the end. We made hard work of a game that we dominated and only killed the game off late on when Durham were down to ten men.”

Durham City manager Billy Harper said; “We were down to the bare bones with only two on the bench who both were carrying niggles. With half of the complete squad unavailable for various reasons I was proud of our lads even though the result doesn't reflect our play. If we get players back and they show what the lads did on Saturday, then I truly believe we will get significant points in the coming weeks. “ Durham are still seven points behind second bottom Brandon, who were beaten 2-1 at Thornaby after leading early in the game through Lee Blades.

Esh Winning are fourth bottom still after they became the latest team to stop the unbeaten run of league leaders Billingham Town, who haven’t lost in 26 league games now. Esh lost the game 3-0, and manager Tony Boakes said; “We had no complaints. We were well beaten by one of the best sides I've seen at this level for a while. “ Willington suffered a blow to their hopes when they were beaten 3-1 at home by Jarrow.

Dean Thexton put them into the lead halfway through the first half, but Jarrow scored three times in the last 17 minutes to leave Willington ten points behind the top three.

Willington manager Rob Lee said; “First half we played some great stuff, dominated it and went in 1-0 up at half time. We hit the bar twice in the second half then had a bad 20-minute spell. It was a disappointing end to the game.”

Crook Town had a good 3-0 home win over Ryton and Crawcrook to put them 13th in the table, their second successive win. Lee Hume and Joe Smith (2) scored their goals.

Crook Town manager Jamie Tunstall said; “We started the game really well, scoring in the first and 7th minutes. Ryton struggled to deal with our intensity early in the game, and that's when the game was won really. We didn't have the same control in the second half, but I always thought we were in command. Another pleasing performance.”