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Bishop Auckland’s Northern League title push continues

Bishop Auckland’s pursuit of the Division One title showed little signs of slowing, with Louis Johnson’s late goal adding to Craig Gott’s opener against North Shields.

Bishop Auckland and Birtley Town take to the pitch in Northern League action. (January 20, 2024)

Six points behind the Two Blues are Shildon, the only side with a realistic chance of catching the leaders, adding to their bid for promotion with a 4-1 win against Heaton Stannington.

In the distant chasing pack, West Auckland Town made it three wins in four with a 5-1 win on their trip to Penrith, meanwhile Guisborough Town’s point against Seaham was enough to see them climb above Birtley Town who lost 2-1 against Carlisle City.

In the battle at the bottom of the table, Tow Law added to their first win of the season against Northallerton Town a fortnight ago by replicating the feat against the same opposition to climb off the bottom spot as Sunderland RCA suffered defeat against West Allotment Celtic.

To round out the action in the First Division, Crook Town won 4-0 against Newcastle Benfield while a Jack Blackford brace helped Redcar Athletic to a 2-1 win at The Glebe.

With Division Two leaders Blyth Town’s clash with play-off hopefuls Chester-le-Street Town seeing a late postponement, there was a slight re-jig in the chasing spots.

Newcastle Blue Star’s loss at FC Hartlepool on Friday opened up the opportunity for Bedlington Terriers to climb into second place, which is exactly what they did via a Joseph Thompson penalty against Easington.

It was Easington who ended the 15-game unbeaten run of Billingham Synthonia, who were held to a one-all draw this week against Ryton & Crawcrook Albion – with the same score as Thornaby hosted Esh Winning.

At the other end of the table, fortunes continued to work against the sides battling at the bottom with defeats for Brandon, Washington and Sunderland West End against Billingham Town, Redcar Town and Boldon respectively.

Chester-le-Street United made it back-to-back to wins against Prudhoe YC Seniors, meanwhile Jarrow’s long-awaited return to Perth Green was given another setback with a postponement owing to a waterlogged pitch confirmed on Saturday morning.