By James Gordon
It was wins for those at the top and defeats for those at the bottom in the EVO-STIK League East Division table with no draws over the weekend.
Everyone that now sits in the top nine all won on Saturday, led by leaders Morpeth Town, who were 4-0 winners at Stocksbridge Park Steels.
David Carson opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 32 minutes and added his second on 54 minutes, with further goals from Liam Henderson and Joseph Walton adding gloss to the scoreline.
Brighouse Town remain six points behind thanks to their 1-0 win over Marske United, Aaron Martin the only scorer.
Pontefract Collieries are third, bouncing back from conceding seven against Spalding United last week, by comfortably dispatching of Wisbech Town 4-0.
Vaughan Redford scored twice, with goals from Michael Dunn and Eli Hey giving them a four goal lead by half time.
Wisbech are at the top of the group of seven sides at the bottom, all of whom lost.
That meant Frickley Athletic were the main beneficiaries of the weekend’s results, beating Stamford 4-1 to move them seven points clear of Wisbech in 13th place.
They trailed at half time through Oliver Brown-Hill’s goal, but Jacob Hazel equalised on 66 minutes.
Tyler Walton gave them the lead on 73 minutes and they secured the points late on through Anthony Wilson and Hazel’s second.
New look Gresley remain bottom of the table after suffering a 5-0 hammering at home to 10-man Ossett United.
New manager Gavin Hurren gave debuts to seven new players, but it didn’t change Gresley’s fortunes.
They trailed to Adam Priestley’s opener on 29 minutes before their captain Alex McQuade was sent off for a deliberate handball that denied a goalscoring opportunity.
But despite their numerical disadvantage, Priestley would complete a hat-trick before the 52nd minute, and Tom Corner scored a late brace to continue their encouraging start to 2019.
Belper Town’s third defeat in four games sees them slip to 11th in the table.
Tadcaster Albion remain in the play-off places thanks to their 2-1 win over the Nailers.
Harry Coates got them off to a perfect start in the first minute and Billy Whitehouse doubled their lead early in the second half, rendering Pitou Crouz’s 90th minute goal scant consolation.
Cleethorpes Town picked up yet another win, beating Carlton Town 5-1.
Josh Batty scored twice in the first half, though Kyle Stovell reduced arrears to one on the stroke of half time.
But goals from Brody Robertson, Danny North and Alex Flett saw the Owls home comfortably to stretch their unbeaten run to nine.
Lincoln United picked up their first win since November as they beat Spalding United 2-1.
Thomas Garrick’s brace either side of James Hugo’s goal lifts Lincoln back up to ninth following a dismal run that started when they were second in the league.
Loughborough Dynamo boosted their play-off hopes with a 4-1 win over AFC Mansfield, who remain in the relegation zone.
Luke Thorogood and Joe Iaciofano exchanged first half goals, before Dynamo took charge in the second.
Ryan Robbins scored on 51 minutes and Alex Steadman added a brace.
Elsewhere, Sheffield maintained their play-off place with a 3-1 win over Pickering Town.
Andrew Gascoigne and Stuart Ludlam had them two up inside 22 minutes, though Adam Lund set up a nervy final five minutes with a late goal.
Mitchell Dunne secured the three points with Sheffield’s third goal in injury time.