Crook manager Jamie Tunstall said that he was incredibly proud of his players after their victory at Heaton Stannington kept them firmly in the second division promotion race on Saturday.

A second half goal by Daniel Kent against a team on the fringe of the promotion race meant that Crook stayed in third place on goal difference ahead of Ryton and Crawcrook.

It was also their seventh straight win, which has seen them charge up the table into the promotion spots.

“I came away from the game absolutely delighted and incredibly proud of this bunch of players,” said Tunstall. “Heaton is a very tough place to play at, so to get three points is massive. The conditions weren't great, so I felt the game was a lot about heart and desire and the lads worked so hard and deserved their win.

“That’s seven wins on the spin for us now, which to do at any level is an achievement. The lads deserve a lot of credit.”

In the first division, Shildon maintained their momentum by beating North Shields 3-0 at Dean Street, their seventh straight win in the league.

They took the lead in the first half through Chay Liddle, then Zak Atkinson scored twice after the break.

Shildon are four points behind leaders Stockton but have played a game more.

Hebburn are level on points with Shildon after they beat Bishop Auckland 2-0.

Bishops manager Ian Chandler said; “It was a pretty even game. We had a fair few chances but never hit the target once. I said at half time to the lads that Hebburn won't do anything to win the game but instead we would lose it by making mistakes and sure enough we gifted Hebburn two goals in the second half.

“Again, we created another few chances but still missed the target. I was fairly disappointed as Hebburn were there for the beating.”

Michael Richardson scored both goals for Hebburn, while Bishops had defender Thomas Bott sent off late in the game.

Newton Aycliffe bounced back to form with a 4-0 home over third bottom Thornaby.

They scored three of their goals in the first 15 minutes through Liam McNamara, Aaron Brown and Dean Thexton, with Liam Jarvie scoring a fourth after half time.

Manager Colin Stromsoy said; “It was a great performance on a soft pitch. We were determined to become much more resolute and harder to break down, and we achieved that. The players stepping into the squad did incredibly well, and they were a very deserved three points.”

Aycliffe are sixth in the table, eight points behind the promotion places.

Former Sunderland and Darlington striker David Dowson scored the only goal of the game for West Auckland as his side beat Guisborough, who had defender Matthew Crust sent off.

West Auckland manager Gary Forrest said; “It was probably the worst game I have had to suffer in a long time. Both teams were poor in possession. However, they were three points and we move on.”

Northallerton are still bottom after they went down 1-0 at Sunderland RCA. They are two points adrift of Whickham and Thornaby.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “It wasn’t a game I would have liked to pay to see with a scruffy goal winning it. The goal sparked us into life, and we could have maybe snatched a point but missed chances and conceding goals is a bad mix for us at the moment and we need to start scoring to give us a chance.

“We are trying to freshen the squad up so hopefully we can start to get the points that are needed.”

In the other first division games, leaders Stockton Town won 4-0 at Whickham. Consett stayed fourth by thumping Ryhope CW 7-3, while Billingham Town dropped points in a 2-2 draw with Penrith.

Whitley Bay won the Northumberland derby by 3-2 against Ashington, while Newcastle Benfield won 2-0 at Seaham Red Star.

In the other second division matches, Esh Winning climbed twelve points away from the bottom two by beating Brandon 2-0 at Waterhouses, both goals scored by Channon North.

Manager Tony Boakes said; “That was our third clean sheet in a row, and according to our club historian, it’s the first time we’ve had three clean sheets since 1964. Everyone is happy with that. We scored our first goal after 15 seconds which set us on our way.”

Brandon are still bottom of the table, and manager Rob Bowron said; “I was disappointed we didn't get something on a very heavy pitch. The first few seconds were awful from our perspective, but the second was an awful offside call from the officials. We worked and played some of the better stuff in the second half, but ultimately fell short.”

Second bottom Durham City remain a point above Brandon after they were beaten 3-2 at home by second top Redcar Athletic, the winner coming in stoppage time. Callum Banki and Jay Nicholson scored for Durham.

Michael Young has taken over as their manager, the club’s third of the season.

After two good wins in recent weeks, Willington went down 3-1 at Birtley, Jordan Lee scoring for them when they were already 2-0 down.

Manager Ibby Hassan said; “I thought that we made too many bad decisions particularly in the final third and that cost us. Inefficiency up front hasn't been a problem we've suffered from this season too often, but on Saturday we didn't take our chances. A missed penalty by Vinny Gash at 1-0 changed the dynamic of the game. Fair play to Birtley who took their opportunities at crucial times and defended resolutely. We will have to be much more clinical when playing Sunderland mid-week in the Durham Challenge Cup.”

Chester-le-Street had a good 2-1 away win at Sunderland West End, with Lee Turner and Andrew Clarkson scoring in the last ten minutes.

Manager Colin Wake said; “It was a really scrappy game spoilt by the wind blowing straight down the pitch. But a much-improved performance and I feel we deserved the win and we created the clearer chances throughout the game. They were well-earned three points on a bitterly cold afternoon.”

Tow Law had a miserable day, beaten 2-1 at home by Jarrow to leave them sixth from bottom. Lewis Teasdale scored for them in between goals by Jordan Mellish and Jonathan Hirst.

Tow Law manager Micky Vasey said; “We dominated the game from start to finish, missed chance after chance, and got punished in the end. It was soul-destroying.”

In the BetVictor NPL Premier Division, Morpeth won 2-1 away at Grantham, but Whitby lost 1-0 at home to Bamber Bridge.

In the North West Division, an Andrew Stephenson hat trick gave Marske a 3-0 home win over Mossley, while Dunston beat Kendal 2-0.

In the FA Trophy, South Shields drew 2-2 with Southport and set up a replay on Tuesday night, but Blyth went down 4-2 at Stockport County.