Newton Aycliffe are now a reassuring eight points clear of the relegation zone after they beat Bishop Auckland 4-2 with ten men on Saturday.

Aycliffe had Ben Trotter dismissed when the score was 3-2, and they withstood some strong pressure late in the game from the visitors.

Bishops took the lead after 11 minutes through Andy Johnson from the penalty spot, and Ian Ward had a chance for a second, but his effort was cleared off the line.

Aycliffe levelled on 30 minutes through Craig Hutchinson, but Bishops went back in front again through Thomas McAloon. However, Aycliffe struck back again through Paul Kane.

With the tackles flying in, Aycliffe took the lead through Jamie Davis, but then had Trotter red carded for an off the ball incident. Bishops piled on the pressure and went close three times, before debutant Glen Lane made sure of the points from a well struck free kick.

Newton Aycliffe manager Deano Browne said; “It was a great performance from everyone. It was arguably our biggest game of the season and to get the three points after being down to ten men for 30 minutes showed great character and great quality. We gifted them a goal and they got a cheap penalty, but I thought we were the better team throughout the game. Some great individual performances from lads playing out of position but more importantly a great team performance.”

Bottom club Billingham Synthonia won their first league game of the season by beating second bottom Washington 1-0, but they’re still ten points away from safety.

In the second division, Northallerton are now top thanks to a good 2-0 away win at Whickham.

After a goalless first half, Stephen Cheeseman finished off a good move to put Northallerton in front, and then Shaun Hudson fired the second to make sure of their fifth away win of the season.

Northallerton manager Darren Trotter said; “It was a hard-fought game in which we are glad we came out on top. The players showed that they can fight and scrap for a win and not just play football which is probably the most pleasing part of the result.”

Crook had a great win, beating fourth in the table Hebburn at the Millfield thanks to a first half goal by Kyle Morris to put them five points ahead of the relegation zone.

Crook manager Chris Lax said; “I was delighted with our win because they had only lost once away from home this season. After taking the lead, we rode our luck at times but that’s something we needed. The lads gave 110 per cent and I couldn’t ask for more. It was a big win for us and just what we needed. We’ve got something to build on.”

Willington had an excellent 5-0 away win at Brandon – four of them coming in the second half -- to put them tenth in the table.

Matty Moffat, Michael Brown, Jason White, Connor Lowes and an own goal were on target for Willington, whose manager Rob Lee said; “There were five well taken goals, we played some good football.”

Chester-le-Street won their basement clash against Darlington RA by 2-1 to go fourth from bottom.

Kieran Megran put them in front just on half time, then Chester keeper Jack Wilson saved a penalty from Jim Wilson. Alex White made it 2-0, before Glenn Donaldson successfully converted a second penalty seven minutes from the end.

Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “They were much needed three points. We had a really good first half in which we should have been three or four up and then we went back to our old ways. We made a lot of bad decisions on and off the ball and brought them back into the game. he game changer was a penalty save by Jack Wilson, if we had conceded then we would have lost the game, but we struggled to get a foothold after that, even though we scored a second on the break. A good three points but not an enjoyable afternoon.”

Darlington RA manager Peter Mulcaster said; “It was another below par performance, we are carrying too many passengers.”

Durham City’s recent good run came to an end when they lost 5-3 at home to Esh Winning, with seven of the goals coming in the first half.

Durham were 2-1 up at one point after 19 minutes, but Esh fought back in style to win. Brad Hird (2) and Daniel Knowd scored for Durham in the first half, with Callum Boakes (2), Shaun Reay, Connor Halpin and Daniel Mann scoring for Esh.

Durham manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “I was disappointed with the result. We defended poorly and paid the price.”

Esh Winning manager Tony Boakes said; “It was a great response from the team after last week’s 8-0 defeat by Whickham.”