AFC Killingworth are in the driving seat as the Premier Division title race looks like going to the wire, although Newcastle University still lead by three.
A goal direct from a corner from Joe Besford put Killingworth on their way to three vital points before Martin Roper claimed a second to seal a 2-0 home win over Newcastle Blue Star, and with games in hand, with the two sides to face off, twice.
The Students meanwhile slipped to a shock defeat when they fell to defeat at home to Gateshead Rutherford who led in the first minute through Louis Tiplady, an own-goal ten minutes later levelled things up and the game remained that way until the final twenty minutes through Thomas Young.
Goals either side of the interval saw the match between lowly FC United of Newcastle, and high-fliers Wallington, finish 1-1 as Garry Winter cancelled out Jonathon Edwards’ first half opener; a first half penalty from Graham Cairns set ten-man New Fordley on their way to 2-0 home win over Percy Main Amateurs with Nicky Whitelaw grabbing the second at the death; and Ponteland United won 3-1 at Shankhouse with goals from McIvor, Calvert and Cook, Ward replying.
Elsewhere two sides would score four times including one player with a four-goal haul as Steve McLaughling scored all of his sides goals in a 4-2 win away to Alnwick Town, the hat-trick goal coming from the spot with a little over fifteen remaining, Phil Airey replying with a brace for the hosts whilst Gateshead Reserves bagged four without reply in their win away to Seaton Delaval.
Lewis McGeoch opened the scoring after fifteen minutes for a Heed Reserves side who moved into tenth place; Jack Warriner doubled their lead within minutes of the restart before a quick-fire pair of goals from Jordan Dobie and Corey McEwen just before the hour mark had them four to the good and out of sight.
It’s only a matter of time before Blyth Town are crowned First Division champions, six points clear and with three games in hand testament to the season they’re enjoying and they added to that at the weekend with a 3-1 win over one of their nearest rivals, Winlaton Vulcans the latest to fall.
Sean Best gave the Vulcans a first half lead to which Joe Gibson levelled within fifteen minutes of the restart after which it was one-way traffic, Liam Wotherspoon putting the leaders in front just after the hour mark and David Brown made the points safe with seven minutes to go.
Cullercoats moved above the Vulcans by a point after they won 4-0 away to Gosforth Bohemians with goals coming from Hylton Hub and Dillon Blake in the first half, Michael Laws and Daniel Hindmarsh the second whilst Blyth Spartans Reserves won 6-1 at home to mid-table Felling Magpies. Liam Shanley scoring twice alongside goals from Rui Martins, Yannick Aziakonou, Andy Murray and Dominic Price, Michael Mains with a late consolation.
Bedlington were held to a 2-2 draw away to bottom club Newcastle East End as Hebburn U23s, Prudhoe Youth Club and, narrowly, Hexham all picked up the three points in the battle for a top six finish.
The U23s defeated visitors Red Row 4-0 with goals from Logan Powell, Nathan Birch, John Hobbs and Daniel Maddison; Prudhoe won 3-0 at Seaton Burn as Ben Bloomer, Jack Bell and Matty Robinson netted; whilst a Jarvis Smith brace was just insufficient for Wallsend Boys Club who fell to a 3-2 loss against Hexham who had Lofthead, Patterson and Mabunu as scorers.
The top two both picked up three points, but were made to work for their respective 2-1 away wins on Saturday afternoon as the leaders Rothbury edged past hosts Burradon, and Whitley Sporting Club defeated Gateshead Redheugh.
In the former Sam Hall put Burradon in front just after the restart only for Michal Old to equalise minutes later then, with twelve minutes remaining, Gareth McCann struck a vital winner whilst in the latter a goal in each half from Tom Atkinson gave Whitley Sporting Club the points, his second coming at the death with Euan Grey notching in stoppage time.
Blyth FC are still breathing down the top two and they won 4-0 against visitors Jesmond and have enough in hand to take second thanks to a brace from Josh Monaghan, that sandwiched between an opener from Liam Gibson, and Joe Moscrop’s final goal whilst two sides claimed 5-0 wins as Cramlington United won at Ellington, and Whitburn defeated Wideopen.
Both sides remain in the top six as an own-goal set Cramlington United on their way two minutes before the break before Billy Pulman doubled it shortly after the restart, Luke Taylor added a third before a brace in the final ten minutes from Jake Turnbull put a seal on things whilst at Whitburn Liam Mulvain set them on their way after five minutes, a double either side of the interval from Joe Warren, and a second double of the afternoon from Dale Connor in the final twenty, kept the hosts on the mix at the top.
Victor Jefferson notched twice to set Cramlington Town on their way to a 3-2 home win against Coundon whilst the game between Stobswood and Spittal finished in a 1-1 draw.