IT is touch tight at the top of Division One, but Prudhoe YC Seniors have been long time leaders.

With main rivals Haltwhistle Jubilee and Cramlington United sniffing around, Prudhoe have managed to keep hold of their position at the top of the tree despite dropping some crucial points.

But with 11 wins from their opening 14 league fixtures, they find themselves six points ahead of the chasing pack, albeit having played four games more than second placed Haltwhistle.

They are a massive 13 points ahead of third placed Cramlington, although they have played five games fewer than Prudhoe.

The Youth Club’s start to the campaign couldn’t have gone any better and they collected a maximum 18 points from their opening six fixtures.

They showed they meant business from the outset as they returned from Felling Magpies with a convincing 7-2 victory.

They repeated the scoreline when Rothbury visited Kimberly Park just 10 days later, a slender 2-1 victory at Forest Hall sandwiched in between the 7-2 victories.

Red Row Welfare were Prudhoe’s next victims, losing 3-1 at KP.

Two further home games followed and Prudhoe enjoyed victory in both, edging FC United of Newcastle 4-3 in a thriller and then defeating Bedlington 5-3.

League action took a back seat for the Northumberland FA Les Todd Senior Benevolent Bowl, and they performed admirably well against Premier Division hosts Burradon and New Fordley but fell just short in the 2-1 reversal.

When they returned to the league, they endured a sticky patch and failed to win any of their next three games.

They drew 1-1 at Whitley Bay Sporting Club and then lost 2-0 at Cramlington and 3-2 at Whitburn & Cleadon.

But they ended the year with a five-game winning run, starting with a 2-0 victory over Wallsend Boys Club.

Then teenager Ben Milner came to the fore to score a late winner as they edged Tyne Valley rivals Hexham by the only goal.

They thumped Seaton Burn 5-1 and then went on to defeat Hebburn Town U23 3-1.

In their last game before a third national lockdown, played on December 28, Craig Fairley’s goal earned them victory over FC United of Newcastle and saw them extend their lead at the top by three points.

Goal scoring has not been a problem for Prudhoe this term and they have hit the back of the net 43 times in league competition, the division’s highest total although the other teams in the top three have a better average.

Their defence is mean too with just 20 goals against in 14 games.

Goalkeeper Ryan Chambers tops the golden gloves chart as he has conceded just 11 goals in 10 matches, at an average of 1.10 a game.