A first half goal from left-back Philip Hodges was enough to give bottom of the table Ryton & Crawcrook victory in a game of few chances on Saturday.

The visitors started the game the better of the two sides and on 18 minutes Hodges progressed well down the left wing before releasing the ball to Eddie Keenan who burst inside and hit a shot which deflected just wide for a corner.

Minutes later Hodges, who was the main threat throughout the game, hit a weak effort straight at Callum Smith after being set up by David Backhouse.

Smith was then forced into a fine diving save, just after 30 minutes, to prevent Hodges free-kick after Keenan was fouled on the edge of the area.

Hebburn Town were forced into playing Smith, usually a winger, in goal for the encounter and his inexperience proved costly ten minutes before half time, when Hodges tame effort somehow managed to find a way through Smith’s legs and trickle over the line.

The bottom side knew they needed a win to have any chance of catching Esh Winning and defended well in the second half as The Hornets pressed for an equaliser.

RCA centre-back Liam Baker almost gifted Hebburn a way back into the match after his poor back pass allowed Channon North to break through.

However, David Below got back to prevent North from getting through and claims that North was fouled were waved away by referee Jack Gordon.

The home side were pushing forward with ten minutes left and needed Smith to prevent Albion from scoring on the counter attack.

First he tipped Rhys Harbottle’s attempted lob from distance over the bar, then blocked Barker’s powerful header from the resulting corner.

Town continued to apply pressure in the last few minutes and a couple of goalmouth scrambles were eventually cleared.

But the visitors withstood the pressure to gain a vital three points and Hebburn now know that only a victory in there final game against Blyth Town, on Saturday, will guarantee a FA cup place next season.

Att: 138