Bishop Auckland manager Ian Chandler said that their 1-0 win at Ashington on Saturday has taken a huge weight off the players’ shoulders.

Bishops had gone five games without a win and had slipped down to third place before Saturday, but victory at Woodhorn Lane has revived their hopes of finishing second to champions Dunston.

“We finally got the win that we maybe deserved in our recent games against Hebburn,” he said. “The game was all about a winning result as far as we were concerned. We dominated the second half, with Ashington a real threat when they broke. The win was a big weight off the team and we now look forward to West Auckland on Wednesday night.”

There weren’t many chances at all in the game, but Andy Johnson got the winner near the end when he turned a Darren Richardson effort over the line.

Bishops are now a point behind Consett with two games in hand, and they will overtake them if they beat West Auckland at Heritage Park on Wednesday night. They are now three ahead of fourth placed Hebburn, who drew 1-1 with Dunston.

Shildon are now unbeaten in their last five league and cup games after winning 4-0 at second bottom Whickham.

Billy Greulich-Smith put the Railwaymen into the lead at half time, and in the second half Nathan Steel (2) and youngster Ben Reay added further goals. Whickham had their manager, Neil Wilson, sent from the dugout as well as defender Harrison Scott.

Shildon manager Danny Moore said; “It was a different kind of win, something I’ve not seen from us for a while, I asked the players to be professional and get the job done, and we did that with another clean sheet.”

West Auckland failed to overcome bottom club Penrith at the Wanted Stadium, despite creating all the chances in the game, and had to settle for a point.

West Auckland manager Gary Forrest said; “We totally dominated from first whistle but just couldn't take our chances. We hit the woodwork three times.”

In the other first division games, Consett won 3-1 at Newcastle Benfield to stay second, while North Shields are eighth after winning 3-0 at Ryhope CW.

Guisborough moved out of the bottom three with a 4-2 away win at Whitley Bay, although how many will be relegated remains to be seen.

In the second division, Northallerton are looking good for third place after they beat Jarrow 4-0 at Ainderby Road.

Kerry Hedley and Damon Reaks (penalty) scored for them in the opening minutes, then Andrew Shepherd made it 3-0 before half time. Reaks added another in the second half.

Manager Darren Trotter said; “We played our best football in a while, partly helped by a terrific start from which we never looked back.

“The game was won by half time, but the intensity and movement were still there throughout and our keeper had very little to do. A good win and two crucial games coming up Tuesday and Friday.”

Northallerton are eleven points behind second placed Thornaby, who did them a favour by winning 3-0 at Heaton Stannington.

Willington lost 1-0 at home to league leaders Billingham Town, who stay two points clear at the top.

Manager Steve Riley said; “We defended really well and were in the game until the end. We lacked a cutting edge up top.”

Crook Town beat bottom club Durham City 3-1 at the Millfield.

After a goalless first half, they scored twice in a minute through Liam Jarvie and Anthony Verity, and after David Gibson pulled a goal back, James Cook made sure.

Crook manager Jamie Tunstall said; “We were delighted to get three points against a well drilled Durham side. They frustrated us for 45 minutes, but we started the second half well, scored a couple of quick goals and that settled us down. I felt we were always in control of the game and good value for the points.”

Durham manager Billy Harper, whose side is 18 points adrift of third bottom Washington with six games remaining, said; “It was a solid and compact first half performance, but we lacked concentration in the first 10 minutes in the second half when we conceded two goals. We pulled ourselves round after that and got back into it with a goal, chasing the game made space for Crook and we conceded the third. All in all, the difference was our lack of keeping switched on for the full 90.”

Esh Winning had an excellent 1-0 win over Billingham Synthonia at Waterhouses, Joe Mole scoring the only goal of the game in the second half.

Esh Winning manager Tony Boakes, said; “It was a great result for us. We defended very well, were mistake-free and took our chance, while also limiting Billingham to a few chances.”

Tow Law lost 4-3 at Easington, after they got back to 2-2 at one stage. Kyle Middleton and Liam Adamson put Lawyers 2-0 up, but Dale Milburn scored twice at the start of the second half.

However, Niall McGoldrick scored within a minute of Lawyers’ equaliser, then Adamson scored his second before Dan Kirkup scored a late consolation.

In the other games, second bottom Brandon drew 1-1 with Ryton and Crawcrook, while Bedlington thrashed Washington 6-1.