Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Skilltrainingltd Northern League

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Skilltrainingltd Northern League

Article excerpt

Byline: MALCOLM PRATT

THE race for the championship could go right to the wire after the three leading contenders again all won.

Table-topping Consett, though, left it perilously late before defeating Billingham Synthonia at Belle Vue Park.

The Synners were twice in front with a brace of goals from James Magowan and the game was into stoppage time before Stephen Johnson clinched the crucial winning goal. Andy Cuthbertson and Gary Ormston were Consett's earlier marksmen.

Spennymoor Town are second, three points off the top with as many games in hand on the Steelmen. They were comfortable winners at Chester-le-Street and after Leon Carling struck on 12 minutes, Craig Gott converted a 31st-minute penalty.

Newcastle Benfield are equal on points with Spennymoor but have played a game more. They are still very much in contention, though, after defeating relegation-threatened Billingham Town with two goals from Michael Chilton.

Dunston Federation, who before the game announced that Billy Irwin had taken over as manager from Perry Briggs, defeated Tow Law Town with a brace of goals from Andrew Bulford.

"Perry tendered his resignation more than a week ago. We did not want him to leave but he was adamant and we thank him for what he has done and wish him well," said secretary Bill Montague.

The Fed are fourth and Shildon are immediately below them after hitting Ashington with a 4-0 defeat. The Division's leading scorer, Warren Byrne, was again in superb form, claiming all four goals.

Whitley Bay still have an outside chance of finishing in pole position following an easy win at bottom-of-the-table West Auckland Town.

Lee Kerr hit a hat-trick which included two penalties and Craig McFarlane also netted, with West's only reply coming from Danny Richmond. Seaham Red Star are second from the basement after losing at Morpeth Town, for whom Paul Wilary struck a late winner. Chris Rue's early strike for the Northumbrians was cancelled out by Paul Rodham.

Relegation-threatened Northallerton Town twice led, courtesy of Stephen Allison and Carl Chillingsworth, but Bedlington Terriers emerged victorious thanks to Alex Lawson, Gareth McAlindon and Shaun Nicholson. …

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