Ryhope CW extended their winless run to nine games following Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Newton Aycliffe in their penultimate game of the season in the Northern League.
Danny Lay had equalised for the hosts following Marc Costello’s opener, but second-half goals from Stuart Banks and Matthew Pennal secured victory for The Newtonians.
Colliery Welfare remain 17th following the defeat, but safety will be guaranteed with a point in two weeks time against relegation-threatened Washington.
Assistant boss Stu Gooden said: “We can’t defend like we did for the goals, we have got to concentrate for the full 90 minutes.
“I was fuming with the second goal we conceded, it was a mix-up between the centre-half and the goalkeeper and that’s given them something to hang onto.”
Gary Pearson was away for the game, but his assistant Stu Gooden named an unchanged starting 11 from last week’s 2-2 draw with Dunston UTS. Although, they did revert to four at the back.
After a scrappy opening to the game, Costello bundled home a corner to give the County Durham side the lead after 11 minutes.
Josh Gray missed a glorious chance to double his side’s lead shortly after, but he couldn’t direct a square ball into the back of the net from a point blank range.
Leon Ryan missed a header from close range as goalkeeper James Winter failed to claim James Ellis’ corner, but Ryhope weren’t to be denied again as Lay cooly slotted home after some good work on the right by Simon Ord to level things 10 minutes before the break.
Ellis had a chance to put the hosts in the lead on the stroke of half-time but his header was comfortable for Winter as he went in search of his 21st league goal of the season.
Both stoppers kept the scores level, but a miscommunication between Jonny Ball and Tom Bott allowed Banks to get on the end of a through ball and finish at the second bite of the cherry with 20 minutes remaining.
Ryhope were incensed as Josh Home-Jackson raced through on goal, but was hauled down by captain Aaron Brown, while only a yellow card was awarded.
Lay nearly levelled things with minutes left, but his header from Ellis’ corner went just wide.
As Ryhope pushed men forward, substitute Pennal raced through on goal and finished well past Ball to secure a 3-1 victory for the visitors.
Gooden said: “We started the game very sloppily for the first 15 minutes and we conceded from a corner, which we shouldn’t be conceding from.
“After that, I thought we got back into the game and deservedly got back on level terms and went in at half-time full of confidence.
“We probably had 70 per cent possession, we pressed and pressed, but didn’t have enough quality in the final third.”
The decision at 2-1 not to send off the Newton Aycliffe captain for the foul on Home-Jackson infuriated the Ryhope assistant.
He said: “I think it’s a very bad decision, it’s an easy decision to send him off and it’s a game-changer.
“I’m not making excuses or blaming the referee but there was two or three decisions that could’ve gone our way but didn’t.
The Wearsiders know that if Guisborough Town fail to beat Penrith or Marske United, then they will be mathematically safe from relegation before their final game of the season on Saturday, April, 22.