THE current leaders of the Northern Alliance second division proved they can mix it with teams at the top of the league system.

Despite being eliminated from the league cup at the quarter-finals stage, Haltwhistle Jubilee gave Premier Division high flyers New Fordley a run for their money as the teams met at the weekend.

It could have been a different story too if a goal from Haltwhistle’s Jack Currah wasn’t ruled out for a perceived foul on the home goalkeeper with the scores level.

New Fordley, currently second in the Premier Division, took the lead on 14 minutes when a well-executed first time pass from Callum Uddgren found Connor Andrews, who did the rest by sending a smart finish past the Halty shot stopper.

Haltwhistle were celebrating an equaliser just after the half hour mark when defender Currah powered home a header, but their joy was cut short when the linesman flagged for a foul on the goalkeeper, despite no real appeal from the home side.

The Division Two leaders continued to ask questions of their higher ranked hosts, but they were dealt a hammer blow right on the stroke of half time when they conceded a second goal.

Liam Hudson was first to react to the rebound after an initial shot was blocked, putting a bit of daylight between the teams.

The goal knocked the stuffing out of Halty but, nevertheless, they kept going and put a few enticing crosses in to the Fordley area, but weren’t able to capitalise on the half chances.

For the second week running, captain Mark Robson was named man of the match, helping him claim the club committee player of the month.

Haltwhistle turn their attention to their pursuit of the league title at the weekend as they face a rejuvenated Newcastle University A side.

While the game is scheduled to be played at their home pitch at the Burn, it is likely the game will be reversed to the students’ Cochrane Park pitch due to the bad state of the Haltwhistle pitch.

It will be the first of two consecutive fixtures against the University, who have moved level on points with second placed Cramlington Town after a run of five straight league victories, as the teams will do battle in the Northumberland FA Minor Cup quarter-finals at Cochrane Park the following Saturday.

Haltwhistle are five points clear at the top of the table.