Neck and neck in race for glory

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Northern Football Alliance Round-up

PREMIER DIVISION

WHILE Ponteland United were winning their battle at Murton, pre-Saturday leaders Alnwick Town were dropping points at home to third-placed Carlisle City.

Town’s unbeaten run is now up to 17 games but they lost a bit of ground as they were held to a 2-2 draw.

Tom Vickers took just two minutes to open the scoring for Town but City’s Steven Rooke fired home just two minutes later. With both sides playing attractive football, Gary Patterson’s 24th minute goal put Alnwick back in front and Carl Murphy levelled after the break.

Reigning champions Harraby almost opened the scoring against Shankhouse when Sergio Royo’s in-swinging corner from the right was headed off the line, but they were celebrating the first when Daniel Balmer cut in to strike a low drive from the corner of the box through the crowded area and into the far corner of the net on 38 minutes.

Harraby doubled their lead two minutes later when a delightful Royo pass sent Ryan Errington clear through the middle to lob over Martin Coleman into the net from 20 yards to give the home side a deserved two-goal lead at the break.

Coleman made fantastic saves to keep out Errington, Balmer, Brett Swift and Archibald, while Simon Tucker beat the keeper but the ball smashed back off the post.

Shankhouse’s Chris Rue flashed a volley across goal and wide before a moment of madness in the Harraby defence gifted them a lifeline.

Michael Bell capitalised and shot gleefully into the empty net when a harmless-looking long ball forward caused a mix-up and Shankhouse almost squared things when the unmarked Anthony Moran powered a three-yard downward header that Jordan English saved superbly.

They did equalise with five minutes to go as a corner was only cleared to the edge of the box, where Daniel Chambers hit a stunning half-volley into the top corner of the net.

Stocksfield’s Wayne Stewart shot them in front at Percy Main Amateurs but sub Michael Bowman went around the keeper and fired into the empty net to level and it also finished all-square at Gateshead Rutherford, who had David Loughlin and Joseph Hindmarsh on target while Stephen Howes and Paul Hodge replied for Seaton Delaval Amateurs.

Kevin Grahamslaw and Craig Harleyfired in after the break for Killingworth Sporting as they took the points at Ashington Colliers and Cramlington Town raced into a two-goal first-half lead at Blyth Town with efforts from Dan Neary and Kieran Parsons.

But when they were reduced to 10 men just after the break, Blyth took full advantage with Jonny Mann, Tom Haigh, Jeff Fuller and Neil Blades hitting the net.

NFA SENIOR BENEVOLENT BOWL

HEATON Stannington were also reduced to ten men in the NFA Senior Benevolent Bowl as Walker Central won a physical affair 2-0 with goals from Grant Kershaw and Ryan Monaghan.

NORTHUMBERLAND FA MINOR CUP

GOALS from Ian Lee, Dean Porter, Darren Reay and Gav Hattrick put Whitley Bay A into the final of the Northumberland FA Minor Cup as the Seahorses cruised past fellow Division One side Forest Hall.

Tyneside Amateur League Division Two’s Blyth Isabella put the skids on an all-Alliance final with a surprise 1-0 victory at Gosforth Bohemian the other semi.

DIVISION ONE

HEBBURN Reyrolle thumped six past North Shields Athletic as they maintained top spot in Division One with Channon North grabbing two and Dan Gray, Ray Oshin, Peter Bryson and Dan Mattews the others while James Cowx and Dean Bolam were on the scoresheet for Athletic.

Josh Hay was the hat-trick hero for Amble United as they thumped Berwick United Ultras 5-0. Hay struck the opener in the 15th minute and Ross Gair made it two after the break. The wheels fell off for Berwick in the last ten minutes as Hay added two more and Stephen Gibbard the fifth.

Wallington’s Justin Milligan (two), Jordan Nellis and Mark Jewitt were on target in an emphatic 4-1 derby win at Morpeth Sports Club and Heddon’s Jordan Carling and Steven Sattersthwaite netted in a 2-1 win over Stobswood Welfare. David King got the consolation.

Cullercoats’ Dave Fairless, Stuart Wright and Graham Allen were their marksmen in a 3-0 win over South Shields United, while Kurran Dhugga scored for Newcastle University in a 1-1 draw with Peterlee Town.

DIVISION TWO

NEWCASTLE Chemfica Independent’s scorers were Phil Bone, Steve McLaughlin, Alex Tooley and Gareth Davies as they won 4-2 at Swalwell to go top of Division Two. Mark Fitzpatrick and David Fitzpatrick replied for Swalwell.

Goals from Ryan Arnott and Gary Hall were not enough for Wallsend Town as they went down 3-2 at home to Seaton Burn while Simonside SC were victorious a nine-goal thriller at home to Willington Quay Saints.

Steven Graham hit two with Sean Flood, Ben Cooper and Kyle Riley all getting in on the act while Glen Johnson and Mark Henderson both scored doubles for Willington in a tremendous game.

Tynemouth United’s Lee Garwood netted twice and Aaron Chambers added the other as they won 3-0 at Cullercoats CP while Wallsend Boys Club’s Gary Shaw and Chris Murphy scored in their 2-0 win over struggling Cramlington United. Boys Club also hit the woodwork six times.

Neil Tiffin netted from the penalty spot for Hexham against Whitley Bay Town but they were pegged back when Mattie Guthrie levelled after the break and Red House Farm thumped basement side Wideopen & District 5-1.

Northbank cruised into the semi-finals of the Cumberland Senior Cup with goals from Luke Barwick and Andy Rogerson (two) as they saw off Eden Thistle, who had caused a major shock in dumping out Harraby in the previous round.