Northallerton keeper Tom Dawson helped to swing the second division promotion race in his side’s favour when he scored from inside his own penalty area in their 4-1 away win at third placed Blyth AFC on Saturday.

Dawson’s effort, the second goal of the game, put Northallerton well in control and put them three points clear at the top of the table.

Manager Darren Trotter said; “He cleared the ball out of his hands, and with a little bit of a wind behind, it bounced just outside the Blyth box.

“Another of our players, Aaron Ramsbottom, distracted the keeper by running towards him, and it went over the keeper’s hands into the net.

“Tom deserves a goal as recognition for some great displays since he joined us from Bishop Auckland earlier in the season.

“That was our second goal, and settled us down. We then had the confidence to go and score the third before half time. To get the three points was phenomenal.”

Ramsbottom opened the scoring for Northallerton, and after Dawson’s goal, Chris Dickinson added a goal either side of half time.

In the first division, Shildon slipped down to fourth place after they were held to a goalless draw at home by bottom club Billingham Synthonia.

Shildon manager Danny Moore said; “We’ve gone from one extreme to another in a few days because we lost 5-3 at North Shields in midweek. We were disappointed not to win because we had loads of chances, and we missed three one-on-ones. We gave them something to hang on to by not taking our chances.”

Shildon were overtaken by North Shields, who beat Washington 3-0.

West Auckland and Newton Aycliffe drew 2-2 at Darlington Road in their local derby.

Former Aycliffe player Ben Wood fired West into the lead a few minutes before half time, but Mattie Pennal headed Aycliffe level from a Paul Weldon free kick.

West went back in front when sub Alex Francis scored from an Anthony Bell pass, but Weldon levelled from a free kick with three minutes left.

West Auckland manager Gary Forrest said; “It was frustrating again. Our decision-making in the final third was poor, and had we made better decisions we would have collected all three points.”

Newton Aycliffe manager Deano Browne said; “It was a good game. We competed well against a good West side and deserved a point in my opinion. It was great for the lads after all the hard work they’ve put into training.”

Bishop Auckland are up to 14th and well away from trouble after beating Seaham Red Star 3-1 at Heritage Park.

Bishops played some good football in the first half and took the lead on 21 minutes with a powerful shot by Priestley Griffiths, then Andy Johnson scored from the spot after Andre Bennett was brought down.

Thomas McAloon finished off a good move for the third in first half stoppage time, with Seaham pulling a goal back through Lee Chapman’s penalty midway through the second half. Seaham’s Callum Munro was sent off late in the game.

Bishop Auckland manager Colin Myers said; “A great first half won us the game. We need to be more confident over 90 minutes if we want to push on. The second half left me feeling disappointed with the overall performance.”

In the other second division games, Tow Law are now up to second after a good 3-0 away win at Easington. Dean Thexton and Liam Whitworth scored twice in the space of a minute in the first half, with Thexton making it 3-0 with his 18th league goal of the season, five more than anyone else in the league. Manager Steve Murray said; “It was a confident away win and a clean sheet.”

Durham City have now won four league games in a row to put them sixth thanks to a 2-1 win at second bottom Darlington RA. Brad Hird missed a penalty early in the game for Durham, but he still scored twice in the second half before Mark Sims pulled a goal back for the RA in stoppage time.

Durham City manager Olly Hotchkiss said; “I thought we dominated the game from start to finish and should have been more clinical in front of goal to enhance the scoreline, but I was really proud of the players as they performed very well. I was disappointed to concede but a win is a win and the players can enjoy Christmas with another great win on the road.”

The RA have still only picked up four points at home this season, and manager Peter Mulcaster said; “It was another poor performance, too many players weren’t interested.”

Crook Town, on the other hand, are now nine points above the bottom two after a good 4-3 away win at bottom club Alnwick.

They nearly wasted a hat trick by Kyle Morris, because Alnwick fought back to draw level. Chris Emms missed a penalty for Crook, but Christian Holliday scored the winner with two minutes left.

Crook manager Chris Lax said; “We’re pleased with the win but not happy with the way we conceded and missed numerous chances including a penalty, but a win is a win, especially as it’s a long journey.”

Esh Winning came back from 2-0 down after 10 minutes to draw 2-2 with Hebburn at Waterhouses, Nick Marley scoring twice. Manager Tony Boakes said; “It was a great comeback from 2-0 down with only twelve players available. I was very happy with the team performance.”

Chester-le-Street won their fourth straight game when they defeated Ryton and Crawcrook 3-1. Michael Hepplewhite, Alex White and Dominic Laws scored for Chester, with Mason Stephenson equalising at one point for Ryton.

Chester-le-Street manager Colin Wake said; “We dominated the game and made numerous chances which we didn’t take to kill the game off sooner than we did. Their keeper was man of the match by a country mile as he made at least half a dozen great saves.”