Northallerton manager Darren Trotter was pleased that his team’s determination was rewarded when they beat Penrith 3-0 in their relegation clash at Ainderby Road on Saturday.

Northallerton have won twice in their last three games to lift them to third bottom of the table, just a point behind the Cumbrians with two games in hand.

“It was pleasing to see our determination rewarded, I was really pleased with the result,” said Trotter.

“We have been playing well against better opposition, so Saturday was a test under pressure against a side around us in the table and the lads came through it easily.

“We were very clinical in the first half, weathered their response after half time and could have easily finished with more goals. Everyone is looking forward to the next game now.”

Recent signing Micky Rae put them in front after 20 minutes, quickly followed by a second from Nick Martin. Connor Dunlavy wrapped up the points three minutes from the end.

At the top end of the table, Stockton Town are now nine points clear after a 3-0 away win at Sunderland RCA. Keeper Callum Roberts scored with a free kick that his opposite number misjudged, then Fred Woodhouse and Adam Nicholson added further goals.

Manager Micky Dunwell said; “They were tough conditions but another professional performance. 2-0 up at half time then got a quick one straight after half time which killed the game off.”

Newton Aycliffe missed a chance to go joint fourth when they were beaten 1-0 at home by North Shields.

Newton Aycliffe manager Colin Stromsoy said; “It was an extremely frustrating day for us. We dominated most of the game and despite creating some great chances we just didn't show enough quality to score. Liam Jarvie was also brought down in the box and there's not one person in the ground apart from the ref that didn't think it was a penalty but I'm sure it was a genuine mistake. No surprise then when Shields launched it forwards at the death, we didn't deal with it, we then conceded a corner which they scored from. A mixture of not being good enough, being determined to win rather than accept a draw and just rotten bad luck meant the best team by far lost but that's football.”

Bishop Auckland lost 1-0 at home to Guisborough, for whom former Darlington player Brian Close scored just before half time.

Bishop Auckland manager Ian Chandler said; “We didn't have enough to win this one. Once again, the young lads came in and young Billy Harland needed to start with the late withdrawal of Kyle Morris. Then we lost Michael Hoganson at half time, but he was ably replaced by Regan Nixon who had a very good second half. Other than that, we huffed and puffed created very little. We badly missed Chris Winn and Kyle Morris in the creative department.”

Guisborough manager Gary Forster said; “Brian produced a great finish – he had a great game as well.”

Thornaby gave themselves more hope of avoiding relegation when they drew 1-1 at Whitley Bay, James Rowe scoring their goal.

Manager Craig Haley said; “Two draws last week and belief is growing in the squad, overall a good week for the club.”

In the second division, Crook Town had a comfortable 4-0 home win over bottom club Durham City to keep the pressure on the top two.

Durham held them to a goalless first half, but Daniel Maddison broke the deadlock just after the break, then Christian Holliday, Dane Eltringham and Maddison scored further goals.

Crook manager Jamie Tunstall said; “We're happy to have won the game as that's ultimately what's most important but the performance was below par for large spells. 4-0 flatters us and Durham for long spells were very competitive. I think we just showed a little bit more quality in the final third and that was ultimately the difference. We look forward to leaders West Allotment now in a tough game next week.”

Crook are two points behind Redcar, who beat Bedlington 4-0 at Green Lane with goals by Lee Bythway, Connor Smith and Adam Preston (2).

Manager Steve Connolly said; “We managed the game well and our front three were the difference between the sides.”

Billingham Synthonia are just four points behind the top three thanks to a comfortable 6-0 away win at Newcastle University, with goals by Danny Earl (2), Alex Bruton (2), Danny Boyle and Mattie Wilson.

Manager Dave Dickson said; “There were good performances all the way through the team.”

Tow Law lost ground on the leaders after they were held to a goalless draw at Sunderland West End.

Manager Micky Vasey said; “The conditions were very windy. We dominated most of the game but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. They defended well.”

Chester-le-Street were easily beaten 7-0 at home by league leaders West Allotment, and manager Colin Wake said; “It was a totally disastrous afternoon. From nearly going 1-0 up we conceded a sloppy goal with goalkeeper Max Coombes at fault -- he was later at fault for another three goals. West Allotment don't need any encouragement as they are a good side but after the disciplined performance of the previous Tuesday night we were disjointed and all over the place.”

Brandon are stuck in second bottom spot after they lost 4-1 at Heaton Stannington, and third bottom Washington won 1-0 at Willington, to leave them seven points behind.

Manager Anth Lee said; “Our lads fought well but Heaton just had a bit too much quality for us and a couple of mistakes killed us. Another decent performance but just not quite enough.”

Morghan Claydon scored Brandon’s goal when they were 2-0 down.

Esh Winning collected a point from a 2-2 draw at Easington, after being in the lead through Alex Goundry and Nick Marley.

Manager Tony Boakes said; “Overall a great point. Our goals, a worldy from Alex Goundry and a cracking header from Nick Marley saw us to a good point away to a very good Easington side.”