ALNWICK Town moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier Division with a 3-1 win at struggling Murton on a day when the weekend’s deluge dented the fixture list.
Tom Vickers shot Town ahead in the10th minute and although Murton levelled through a Karl Garside penalty on the half-hour, there was no looking back for the black and whites as Chris Moffat and Gary Patterson netted the others (full report, back page).
Second-placed Ponteland United’s title hopes suffered a set-back as they went down 3-1 at third-placed Carlisle City.
Dean Gate finished a left-wing cross from 12 yards to put them ahead in the 20th minute of a first half that saw them on top.
But Pont keeper Gareth Powell bundled an in-swinging Tom Lucock corner into his own net under heavy pressure for the equaliser two minutes after half-time and Jamie Heath netted from another Lucock cross to make it 2-1 in the 63rd minute. Carl Murphy combined with Steve Skinner before drilling in the third in the 72nd minute.
Malcolm Morien’s curling free-kick gave Percy Main the lead at Harraby CC, but the Cumbrians levelled six minutes later as Mark Shiel struck.
Dan Balmer tapped in from four yards for number two in the 31st minute and he added his second in the 83rd to give Harraby a 3-1 victory and move them up to fourth.
Chris Douglas scored with a late penalty as Gateshead Rutherford drew 2-2 at Stocksfield.
With both sides keen to pull clear of the relegation zone, it was Stocksfield that struck first through Steve Foster a minute before half-time.
John Dewhurst equalised a couple of minutes after the break, but Stocksfield regained the advantage through a disputed Wayne Stewart penalty on the hour.
There were more protests when Rutherford were awarded the spot-kick that Douglas tucked away in the 80th minute and the home side finished with 10 men as Scott Johnstone was given an early bath.
Division One leaders Hebburn Reyrolle had Ray Oshin, Craig Watson and Michael Younger on target in a 4-1 win at Coundon and Leaholm Youth that put them into the final of the Durham FA Trophy.
In Division One, Daniel Robinson grabbed an injury-time winner for Heddon as they came from behind to beat Cullercoats 2-1.
Stuart Wright struck the opener for the visitors in the 25th minute, but Mark Hope equalised in the 33rd minute. There were only seconds remaining when Robinson beat three defenders and rounded the goalkeeper to tuck the winner into the empty net.
The result saw Heddon leapfrog Cullercoats up to third while Jonathon Hartland’s two goals couldn’t prevent Morpeth SC going down 3-2 at home to North Shields Athletic and bottom side Forest Hall were also beaten 3-2 at home by Newcastle Uni.
Joel Murray and Michael Sandberg were on target for improving Forest Hall, but they are yet to take a point in the league and counters from Benjamin Burt (two) and Daniel Clements won it for the Students.
Tony Adlandey and Gareth Allen scored for South Shields United as they beat Division Two’s Northbank 2-0 in the Pin Point Recruitment Charity Cup.
The rain was the only winner as the rest of the fixture list was decimated by the weather and there was also disappointment as Division Two basement side Newcastle BT tended their resignation from the Northern Alliance.