The chasing pack are doing all they can to keep pace with leaders Newcastle University who remain ten points clear, and reached the seventy goal mark for the season on Saturday with a 4-1 win away to a dogged New Fordley as Keith Douglas bagged a brace, Niza Chilufya added another to his tally, and Chris Scott also scored with Jordan Wilson replying.
Beneath them Ponteland edged a seven-goal thriller at home to Gateshead Rutherford as Gary Cook scored twice alongside goals from Daniel Short and Owen Lewis-Thompson, replies coming from Dillon Howarth, Oliver Forsyth and Steven Hall whilst a Martin Soulsby hat-trick helped third place Newcastle Blue Star to a 4-0 win at Seaton Delaval, Andrew Pearse with the fourth at the death.
Killingworth came from behind to defeat eight man North Shields Athletic 8-2, the hosts netting through Liam Hudson with four, including one from the spot, a Lee Johnson hat-trick, and Scot Bamborough whilst an Oliver Young brace before the interval gave Shankhouse a hard-working 2-0 home win over Alnwick Town and Wallington won by the same when opposing FC United of Newcastle, John Paxton and Adam Barker with the goals.
The remaining top division fixture featured eight goals as Newcastle Chemfica moved above opponents Percy Main with a 6-2 win as Steve McLaughlin and Sam Grieveson both scored twice, Chris Homans and Alex McKitterick also netting, Ben Senior replied with a brace of his own for the Amateurs.
Gateshead A meanwhile progressed in the Durham Trophy when they defeated Wearside League outfit, Wolviston, 4-0, goals coming from Corey McKeown, Brandon Slater, Jack Warriner and Lewis McGeoch.
Plenty of goals arrived in the handful of First Division games played on Saturday, six being shared at Felling Magpies as they were held to a 3-3 draw by Forest Hall, the visitors earning a share with a second half double from Tony Woods after they’d led via Harry Johnson; Andy Marley had opened the scoring early on whilst a Chris Daley penalty and Tony Harbison around the hour kept the game flowing.
A Kane Chirnside hat-trick helped lowly Wallsend Community to a comfortable 4-1 win at home to mid-table Seaton Burn, Callum Hewitson the other whilst Reece Haslett replied; and there were five goals at Hebburn as the U23s were edged by visitors Winlaton 3-2, Jack Moulding with a Vulcans brace alongside Kieran Barker’s effort whilst Jordan Reed and Jonathon McGreary also scored.
The game at Prudhoe YC was abandoned minutes from time with the visitors, Cullercoats, 4-1 to the good whilst other sides were on Northumberland Minor Cup duty as Bedlington won 6-1 at Jesmond and Blyth Spartans Reserves defeated Ashington Town Miners 11-2.
Hexham won 4-1 at Cullercoats U23s courtesy of a Marc Nixon double and one each for Vinny Proudlock and Kurtis Harvey and Gosforth Bohemians claimed a 6-0 win at Wallsend Boys Development, Alex Kennedy firing a four-goal salvo along with goals from Liam Riley and Mark Wright whilst Blyth Town defeated Newcastle West End Tigers 7-0, Jak Ditchburn with a double and braces from Marc Nixon and Kevin Bell helped Red Row Welfare on their way to a 6-1 win over Bebside United.
Liam Anderson helped himself to four goals in the remaining cup tie as Wallsend Boys Club blitzed visitors Newcastle Medicals for ten without reply he being joined on the scoresheet by a Charlie Watson hat-trick, two for Rob Woods and a further goal from Steven Buzzeo.
One of only two games in the division, Rothbury took advantage of others being on Minor Cup duty to regain leadership, moving two ahead of Whitley Sporting, with a 3-2 win away to Gateshead Redheugh.
Coming from behind, Redheugh leading at the break courtesy of Lee Laidlaw’s opener, Tom McPherson levelled minutes after the restart. Redheugh regained the lead on the hour when Dean Rutledge scored but, with twelve minutes remaining, Rothbury gained control of the game when equalising for a second time through Daniel Thompson, his ninth of the season, and with ten minutes to go, Greg Woodburn sealed the points.
Whitburn moved up a place to fourth in the other league fixture as they also came from behind, at home to Coundon, the visitors leading inside twenty minutes through Jamie Redfearn, hosts’ Joe Warren nicking the equalising six minutes before the break.
Both sides toiled for a winner in the second half and it would go to the home side, in the last minute, when Adam Bravey netted to steal the game for Whitburn.
In the Northumberland Minor Cup the only all-Second Division game would see nine goals scored as Spittal Rovers dismissed Whitley Sporting 6-3 in a game which would see four players hit braces – Kyle Jeffrey, Dmitrijs Paplavskis and Niall Jones for Rovers, Daniel McDonald tiwth two for Sporting, their other coming via David Adams.
Burradon were afforded a walkover, Wideopen defeated Coxlodge 3-1 and Blyth slipped through on the back of a shoot-out success, 5-4 on penalties, following a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle University A.
Ellington and Willinggton Quay Saints scored twenty goals between them, both without reply, when winning on the road at Fawdon and Bedlington A respectively. Ellington racked up an 11-0 success as Callum Johnston bagged a hat-trick, Robert Watt and Brent Aisbitt bagged braces along with further efforts from Matthew Bone, Jai Chungh, Adam Bains and Liam Thomspon whilst Quay Saints won 9-0 courtesy of an Alex Foreman treble, a double from Ross Thirlaway with Dean Adamson, Lee Crammond, Gareth Pugh and Ben McDermott also finding the net.
Several Second Division sides meanwhile fell by the wayside as Jesmond were dropped 6-1 at home to First Division Bedlington, Stobswood Welfare fell 4-2 at Heaton Hawks as did Cramlington Town by the same at Gosforth Bohemians Reserves, and Seghill were dismissed 3-1 at home to New Hartley Juniors.
Thanks to Peter Mann for this week's roundup - if you want to get in contact with Peter please visit his website.