Marske United kept up their pursuit of leaders Morpeth with a 3-1 win at Ryhope CW last night.

Marske took the lead after 16 minutes when James Fairley scored from the rebound after Curtis Round’s shot was saved, but Ryhope levelled just on half time with a diving header by Michael Rae.

Marske went back into the lead when a poor clearance by the Ryhope keeper went straight to Glen Butterworth who scored easily, then Fairley chipped the keeper for the third.

Morpeth, meanwhile, won 4-1 at Whitley Bay, but they have only two games remaining. Marske now need 19 points from nine games to win the title West Auckland failed to strengthen their grip on third place when they lost 1-0 at Newcastle Benfield, for whom Paul Brayson scored on 32 minutes.

Newton Aycliffe drew 1-1 with Seaham to edge further away from the relegation zone.

Seaham took the lead on the half hour mark through Liam McBryde, but Thibault Charmey equalised with a long range effort. Seaham have now gone above Bishop Auckland, who are now fourth bottom, on goal difference.

In the second division, Darlington RA pulled off a valuable 1-0 win at Chester-le-Street, David Harrison scoring in the first half to lift them out of the bottom two.

Brandon are now second bottom, even though they drew 1-1 at Ryton. Kieran Alderson put them in the lead with four minutes left, but Martyn Hepple levelled within a minute.

At the top, Northallerton suffered a setback when they were beaten 2-0 at home by Heaton Stannington, who scored both their goals in the first half. Northallerton also had Aaron Ramsbottom sent off.

Northallerton’s defeat opened the door for Hebburn who leapfrogged over them into third with a 2-1 home win over West Allotment.

Tow Law lost 3-2 at Jarrow, even though they were 2-0 up with goals by Dean Thexton and Rhys Harbottle by the 20th minute. Kris Allen scored a hat trick for Jarrow.

Crook had a good 2-0 away win at Thornaby, with goals by Dan Quine and Kyle Morris, but Willington were beaten 5-0 at leaders Blyth AFC.