Crook Town manager Jamie Tunstall said that their 2-1 win over second placed Redcar on Saturday was “huge” for their Second Division promotion hopes.

Crook remain in fourth place with this victory, but because of their win, and third placed Ryton’s defeat at Esh Winning, they are only three points off the promotion places with games in hand.

“That was a huge result for us,” he said. “Redcar are a very good team and I thought they were the better side first half. We'd worked on how to try and contain them in training in the week and I didn't think we got close enough to them for the first half an hour. We were fortunate to go in winning 1-0 at half time. Second half I thought we were much better and once we went 2-0 up, I always felt we were in control. The lads have really put a shift in again and deserve all their praise. I'm delighted with them at the moment.”

Daniel Kent and Matty Crossen scored within three minutes of each other to put Crook 2-0 up, and Chris Bivens scored late on for Redcar.

The visitors’ manager Steve Connolly said; “We conceded avoidable goals at key times of the game, and really didn't look like ourselves at all.”

In the first division, Stockton remain six points clear at the top after beating Ashington 2-0, with goals by Fred Woodhouse and Dan McWilliams. Manager Micky Dunwell said; “Not the prettiest or most entertaining of games but what matters is the win.”

Third placed Shildon strengthened their promotion hopes by beating Sunderland RCA 2-0 at Dean Street, with second half goals by David Palmer and Billy Greulich-Smith, who now has 30 for the season.

Manager Danny Moore said; “We didn’t play particularly well, but I didn’t think we were in any real bother. The conditions weren’t ideal, but we found a way to win.”

Shildon are now six points clear of fourth placed Consett, who lost 3-0 at Newton Aycliffe. Adam Burnicle (2) and Andrei Ardelean scored the goals that keep their promotion hopes alive. Aycliffe are now in seventh place.

Manager Colin Stromsoy said; “A great performance and deserved win against a team on a phenomenal winning run and with every chance of a place at Wembley in the Vase final. In the first half we totally overpowered Consett and it was only a combination of bad luck, poor decision making and great goalkeeping that meant it was only 1-0 at half time. As expected Consett came out and were much better second half but even though they had more possession than they had enjoyed they didn't threaten.”

Aycliffe skipper Aaron Brown was presented with a shield to mark his 250th appearance, and Stromsoy said; “He exemplifies everything we want to see at the club. He's committed, talented and a genuinely decent lad. There is no better captain in the Northern League in my opinion.”

West Auckland are still unbeaten in the league since November after drawing 0-0 at bottom club Whickham.

Manager Gary Forrest said; “It was an awful game in awful conditions. Two points dropped as we had enough chances to win the game.”

Whickham manager Matthew Pattison resigned after the game, along with assistant manager John Oster. They had been in charge for two months.

Bishop Auckland came from behind to pick up the points at Newcastle Benfield in a 3-2 win.

Reece Noble and Cyril Giraud had Benfield 2-0 up by the 57th minute, but goals by Jamie Marshall, Kyle Morris and Michael Hoganson gave Bishops the points.

Bishop Auckland manager Ian Chandler said; “I was delighted with the comeback but to be honest we were unlucky to be 2-0 down just after half time. A great finish from Jamie Marshall gave us hope then we introduced the young guns in Regan Nixon, Billy Harland and Ben Chandler who all had a very important contribution in those final 15 minutes.”

Northallerton lost 4-1 at home to second placed Hebburn, which means that they are four points adrift of safety. Recent signing Micky Rae scored for them on 56 minutes to put them level at that point.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “Hebburn got out of jail. They scored a great goal early on and we were fortunate to go in at half time 1-0 down. Second half we took the game to them and got an equaliser similar to Hebburn's in the first half and I could only see one winner from there on “Then a correct decision from the ref to sin bin our full back changed the game totally Hebburn came to life and got a result from nothing. The game management of the officials needs to be addressed because I am seeing week in week out incidents going unpunished consistently and players from both sides getting frustrated or taking matters into their own hands and it is having a negative impact on the spectacle for all concerned. The decision was correct I am not blaming that for the defeat, but the officiating is worse than our performance. “ Thornaby are still stuck in the bottom two after they were beaten 2-1 at home by Seaham, who scored a last-minute goal through Andrew Coulson.

Thornaby manager Craig Haley said; “It was tough to take but we need to learn to be resilient to the end.”

Guisborough beat Billingham Town 2-1 in their local derby. Craig Hutchinson scored against his old club, with Sonni Coleman adding a second. Matty Robinson scored for Billingham right at the end.

Guisborough manager Gary Forster said; “The lads were really disappointed to concede at the end which shows a great mentality from my point of view.”

In the other second division games, Tow Law are now in sixth place, just six points off the promotion places after beating Heaton Stannington 2-1 at Ironworks Road. Matty Moffat opened the scoring for Tow Law, and after Lewis Burns equalised, Scott Oldfield scored the winner – their seventh straight victory.

Tow Law manager Micky Vasey said; “We played well, we dominated the first half winning 1-0 at half time. They scored straight away at the start of the second half, we pushed on, missed a penalty eventually scored a second and then just saw the game out.”

Willington lost to two late goals at home to Billingham Synthonia, who are in sight of the top three. Alex Bruton and Danny Boyle scored their goals, and manager Dave Dickson said; “It looked all the world it would be 0-0 until we scored. It was all about getting the points as far as we were concerned.”

Esh Winning had a great 2-1 home win over second placed Ryton and Crawcrook to put them 14th.

They trailed to a goal by Scott Jasper at half time, but they hit back in the second half through efforts by Jonathan Swift and Callum Boakes.

Esh Winning manager Tony Boakes said; “It was a great team effort. We were very poor in the first half, gifting Ryton their goal but there was only one team in it in the second half. “ Chester added to bottom club Durham’s woes by beating them 3-1 at Chester Moor.

Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; It was a positive result but a frustrating performance especially after going 3-0 up. We went asleep again for their goal from a corner and then made the rest of the game a struggle with Durham dominating possession. We were fortunate to hang on as Durham had a couple of appeals for penalties which were justified.”

Niall Fingleton, a Peter Henderson own goal and Michael Hepplewhite scored for Chester, with Nathan Burrell replying.

Second bottom Brandon let a two-goal lead slip against third bottom Washington, and had to settle for a 2-2 draw, which leaves them still four points from safety.

Brandon manager Anth Lee said; “We were fantastic for 80 minutes. The lads stuck to the game plan 100% but we were naive last 10 minutes and allowed them back into the game with a couple of mistakes.”

Dale Milburn and Sean Tarling fired Brandon into a two-goal lead, but the home side scored twice in the last four minutes.