Bishop Auckland suffered a bad home defeat for the second week running when they were beaten 5-0 at home by Stockton Town on Saturday.

Bishops were by far second best against Stockton, but the damage was limited because second placed Consett lost so they’re still in the running for the runners-up spot, but their slim title hopes have disappeared now because of Dunston’s 2-0 win at North Shields.

Manager Ian Chandler said; “It was another well below-par display against a very good clinical Stockton team who punished us on every mistake. Chris Rookes saved us numerous times and was at no fault for any of their goals. New signing Tom Bott played reasonably well also. But we were a shadow of ourselves again.

“Stockton punished us like we’ve done to many teams during the season – they were clinical and relentless. What frustrated me is what looked like a lack of effort at times. I’ll be making changes for our next game on Wednesday.”

Bishops were 2-0 down to goals by Nathan Mulligan and Max Craggs before they could settle, and in the second half Sonni Coleman, Fred Woodhouse and Chris Stockton added further goals.

West Auckland had a good 2-0 home win over Seaham Red Star to keep them tenth in the table.

Denver Morris fired West into the lead with a great shot on 35 minutes, and Steven Snaith fired the second after half time.

West manager Gary Forrest said; “It’s another win, but we need to keep pushing on.”

Shildon drew 2-2 with Whitley Bay after being 2-0 up at one point.

They led with an early goal by Brad Hird, and even though they had Zak Atkinson sent off for dangerous play, they went 2-0 up through Billy Greulich-Smith from close range.

But Whitley, under new boss Nathan Haslam, fought back in the second half and scored through Andrei Ardelean and Luke Salmon.

Dunston are now looking strong favourites for the title after their 2-0 win at North Shields, they are twelve points clear at the top.

In the second division, Crook’s eight game unbeaten run was ended by a late goal at Billingham Town, who now go back on top of the table.

Ashley Lavan scored the only goal eight minutes from the end, and Crook manager Jamie Tunstall said; “It was a game of very fine margins where a substitute was the difference in the game. We lost three forwards during the week for various reasons and an injury in the warm up made things difficult for us to affect the game from the sideline which can often be the difference in close games. Credit to Billingham Town though, they kept going as did our boys. I felt the effort and desire of my lads deserved to get take something from the game.” Crook remain eighth in the table.

Billingham moved above Thornaby, whose game at Tow Law was postponed because of snow.

Chester-le-Street dropped points in a 3-3 draw with Easington and remain in fourth place on goal difference.

Manager Colin Wake said; “It was a disappointing result even though we drew, as we were in front three times and couldn't win the game. Again, it was a poor defensive display conceding three soft goals. Easington were though full value for the draw as they had a lot of possession and were a threat for the final hour. We should have gone 4-2 up before they equalised for the final time but harry wood fired wide when 1 on 1.”

Rhys Turnbull and Andrew Clarkson (2) in turn put Chester in front, but Niall McGoldrick, Josh Home-Jackson and Liam Adamson scored for Easington.

Esh Winning were denied all three points by a late fightback at Redcar Athletic.

They led 2-0 going into second half stoppage time with goals by Jordan Stephens and Nick Marley, but Lance Skelton and Adam Preston scored in the five minutes of stoppage time.

Esh Winning manager Tony Boakes said; “Once again we were the better side, the same as Willington last week. But we were caught out with the last kick of game. We must see out games but we’re really happy with the overall performance and another great point away from home.”

The games at Newton Aycliffe, Billingham Synthonia, Birtley, Durham City, Northallerton and Tow Law were all postponed.

In the Vanarama National League North, Spennymoor’s home game with Guiseley was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, and they’re hoping that conditions will improve sufficiently for the home game with Bradford Park Avenue on Tuesday night.

In the EvoStik League Premier, South Shields had a good 3-1 away win at Mickleover Spirts, while Whitby won by the same scoreline at Bamber Bridge.

In the EvoStik League East, Morpeth are looking good for promotion after winning 4-0 at Lincoln United, while Marske beat Cleethorpes 3-1.