HALTWHISTLE Jubilee roared back to the top of Northern Alliance Division Two on Saturday.

Goals from Liam Crowe, Jack Barker, Greg Irwin, and Paul Wilson ensured the Jubes dispatched their closest challengers Newcastle East End in a 4-2 victory.

But this was no straightforward home win for the Blue and Whites, who went to great lengths just to get the game played. Their regular pitch at the Burn was waterlogged, and the fixture was switched to Bardon Mill, where the Jubes have played many times in recent seasons.

Further rainfall overnight created more challenges, and local firm Potts Plant Hire stepped in to provide much needed sand for the playing surface.

The fixture finally passed a morning pitch inspection, and Haltwhistle manager Cameron Bell was grateful for the efforts of all involved.

He said: “We’re very thankful to Kenneth Makepeace and everyone at Bardon Mill FC for making the field available, and to Aaron at Potts Plant Hire for donating sand for the pitch.

“Thanks also go to all the supporters who turned up on a bitterly cold afternoon. As always, it’s great to see local people supporting and helping the team out.”

The collective efforts were not in vain, for the Jubes once again produced a performance full of goals and attacking play.

Haltwhistle went a goal down early in the game, after conceding from a set piece.

This didn’t disrupt the hosts, however, and Crowe equalised after finding the bottom corner with a with a well-placed finish.

But East End, who were a point ahead of Haltwhistle at the top of the table before Saturday’s game, took the lead again on the stroke of half time from another set piece.

The Jubes were 2-1 down at the interval, but were much improved after the restart. They equalised after Thomas Wilkie picked out Barker, who chipped the keeper in fine style.

The game looked to be heading for a draw with eight minutes to play, but Irwin ran on to a through ball to finish calmly to give his side a precious lead.

And they sealed the win two minutes later, when Wilson drilled home from close range to make it 4-2.

The result saw Haltwhistle overtake East End to reclaim top spot. The South Tynedale side also have four games in hand over their rivals.

It’s a big week ahead for Haltwhistle, who travel to Jesmond on Saturday in the semi-finals of the Northumberland FA Minor Cup.

Jesmond are currently sixth in Division Two.