Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Champions Fail to Hed off Title Rivals; THE LATEST ACTION FROM THE AREA'S SATURDAY FOOTBALL LEAGUES Wade Associates Northern Alliance Premier Division

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Champions Fail to Hed off Title Rivals; THE LATEST ACTION FROM THE AREA'S SATURDAY FOOTBALL LEAGUES Wade Associates Northern Alliance Premier Division

Article excerpt

WITH 12 games to go, the front-runners in the title race are still Walker Central, Heddon and Gillford Park, with Harraby Catholic Club and Peterlee Town ranked as outsiders.

Current leaders Walker were out of action along with Gillford Park, whose game away to Blyth Town had to be abandoned. An hour's play had produced no goals when the Park's Mark Butler sustained a serious leg injury.

He was subsequently taken to hospital and the long delay obliged the match official to call it a day.

Two more matches - Carlisle City v Shankhouse and Northbank v Newcastle University - fell foul of the weather in Cumbria.

Harraby's home game against Heddon went ahead after being switched to Gillford Park because of continuing pitch problems at Harraby.

The defending champions, however, had their recent successful run halted by the visitors, who secured an important 2-1 victory.

Heddon, beaten only once in their last 16 league games, improved on their earlier 1-1 draw with the Cumbrians and were two goals up at the interval.

Their scorers in the fifth and 41st minutes were John Pearson and Liam Heenan and, although the home side tried desperately to get back on terms, Heddon's defence held firm.

Time was running out when Steve Skinner finally got Harraby off the mark.

Ashington Colliers and visitors Ponteland United had both been having a lean time, but Ashington at least turned the corner by winning 2-1.

Their early opener scored by Marc Pattie was cancelled out on the half-hour mark by United's Richard Kent but, with nine minutes to go, Steve Hutchinson banged in the Colliers' match-winner.

Ponteland have now lost six league games on the trot despite having reached this season's Northern Counties Senior Championship final.

Peterlee Town hoisted themselves up to fifth by beating visitors Seaton Delaval 4-2 and avenging their 7-0 drubbing in the reverse fixture. …

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