These Students are looking like they’ll take some stopping after opening up a rather healthy, or unhealthy for the rest of the Division, fourteen point gap on Saturday afternoon, and in some style, defeating visitors North Shields Athletic 7-1.
Both Lee and Chris Scott helped themselves to braces to set the Uni on their way and they were joined on the student by Ben McCarthy and goals from regular scorers Keith Douglas and Niza Chilufya, the latter notching his 26th in the league this campaign and moving him level with rival Malcolm Morien in the scoring charts, Athletic having been level at one stage as Marcelinho Junior scored in the first half.
High-flying Gateshead Rutherford were on the end of a beating when they were felled by a resurgent Newcastle Chemifca, who notched a trio of braces in a 6-1 win thanks to Steve McLaughlin, Fergus Lynch and Sam Grieveson whilst Dillon Howarth replied late.
Wallington notched five without reply in their home win over Whitley Bay A as Aidan Armstrong, Jake Walton, Simon Broatch, Simon Farrier and Bradley Richardson all netted and Alnwick Town won 2-0 at Percy Main, goals arriving late in each half from Brendan Balmbra and Brad McClelland.
Only one cup tie went ahead with Gateshead A finding themselves being dismissed from the Durham Trophy 3-2 at home against Sunderland West End, Cranston and Dobie with the Heed goals.
Only three matches beat the weather in the First Division as title hopefuls kept in touch with the leaders with wins.
Bedlington came from behind to win 3-1 at Seaton Burn, the hosts leading early on through Chris Carr before Daniel Robinson and Joseph Thompson turned the game around and give the visitors an interval lead, Chris Conway wrapped up the points with a quarter of the game remaining.
Andy Murray gave Blyth Spartans Reserves an interval lead in their home game with Wallsend Boys Club and a quick-fire brace early in the second half from Liam Shanley all but wrapped up the point, Scott Maddison pulling one back late on with the Spartans holding on for a 3-1 win whilst Sam Dibb-Fuller notched a second half treble as Prudhoe Youth Club won 4-2 at Hebburn U23s.
Dibb-Fuller was joined on the scoresheet by a Luke Banks effort in stoppage time whilst the hosts replied through Graeme McCall and Adam Brown.
Whitley Bay Sporting Club opened a narrow two point gap atop of the Second Division after they won on Saturday afternoon and Rothbury were held to a 1-1 draw.
At home to Stobswood goals from Pickford, Atkinson, Thomson, Watts and Betts gave the hosts a 5-2 win whilst Rothbury, who fell behind to Donohoe’s second half opener, levelled deep in stoppage time through Smith.
Whitburn maintained the pressure on the front two when they edged past visitors Jesmond 3-2, Warren with two for the victors and Mogwo replying with a brace as well whilst there were home wins for both Cramlington sides.
United remained in fourth as they defeated Spittal Rovers 4-2, John Wilson firing the hosts into a quick, two goal lead after just six minutes before Craig Bell pulled a goal back shortly after, Luke Taylor added two goals early in the second half to make it four for the high-fliers and again, minutes later, Rovers pulled a goal back, this from Paul Wood, but that was all they could muster and United held on whilst rivals Town edged a seven-goal thriller at home to Seaton Sluice.
The visitors led by two at the break, Kieron Moffet opening from the spot and Ben Meant doubling it on the stroke before a quick-fire double from Ben Senior early in the second levelled proceedings; Calvin Oldham restored the visitors lead just before the hour but John Campbell got Town’s second equaliser minutes later, and, with twelve to go, Sluice were undone as Senior claimed his hat-trick to seal the points from the home side.