Newton Aycliffe manager Colin Stromsoy says that his team’s season is in danger of petering out after they were beaten 3-2 at home by



Aycliffe were near the top of table at one point in October, but now they’re seventh after this defeat.

“Billingham were better than us in the first half,” said Stromsoy. “We made some adjustments at half time and totally dominated the second half. We had three brilliant chances including hitting the bar. The referee inexplicably gave them a free kick on the edge of the box which no one believed was a free kick and of course they scored from it with their one and only shot on goal in the second half. Classic smash and grab.

“The positive was Adam Burnicle's debut goals and performance but we are conceding far too many goals as a team though and if our season isn't to just peter out, we must get this resolved.”

Burnicle, signed from West Auckland during the week, twice gave Aycliffe the lead, but former Aycliffe player Craig Hutchinson twice equalised, before Dan Flounders scored the winner.

Billingham Town manager Paul Edwards resigned after the game, due to circumstances and issues within the club.

Shildon survived a scare against lowly Whickham before winning 3-2 and going two points behind second in the table.

After Matty Pattison gave Whickham the lead, Dean Thexton, signed earlier in the week from Newton Aycliffe, scored on his debut for Shildon.

Billy Greulich-Smith and David Palmer scored in the space of five minutes in the second half, before Whickham pulled a goal back through Dale Burrell.

Shildon manager Danny Moore said; “It was a good win in difficult conditions. We played some of the best stuff of the season in the second half.”

Bishop Auckland were beaten by a second half goal at Ashington, to leave them ninth in the table.

Manager Ian Chandler said; “We had a decent first half playing into the horrendous wind going in 0-0, but our second half display was awful. However once again missed chances cost us going ahead, namely Chris Winn hit the bar just after half time when he should have really scored. Then we had two or three goalmouth scrambles but once again we conceded far too easily. It was a poor day.”

In the second division, Esh Winning’s run of five straight victories came to an end when they were beaten 4-2 at Heaton Stannington after being 2-0 up at one point.

Esh Winning manager Tony Boakes said: “We were 2-0 up and doing well, and then our keeper was taken off with a bad injury from a poor tackle. Once Heaton got pressure on, we collapsed, and the home side scored four goals in a ten minute spell. It wasn’t good enough from some of us.”

Nick Marley and Joe Gill scored for Esh.

Chester-le-Street lost 2-1 at third placed Ryton and Crawcrook.

Manager Colin Wake said; “No-one did enough to win the game as quality was poor in both final thirds. We gave away the game with two poor pieces of defending again where we failed to pick up a runner and they went onto score. I sound like a broken record game in game out, but we have to learn how to defend for 90 minutes but we go to sleep, have lapses in concentration and we are being punished.”

Joe Blackbourne scored just before half time, in between Ryton’s two goals.

Brandon’s cause is looking even more hopeless after they were beaten 5-1 at home by Birtley, to leave them bottom of the table, and eight points from safety.

The games involving Durham City at home to West Allotment and Crook’s trip to Carlisle City were both postponed, while Tow Law’s home game with Willington was abandoned because of high winds at half time.