Stay of execution for Rutherford in Northern League

Gateshead Rutherford have been handed a stay of execution and avoided the drop into Division One of the Northern Football Alliance next season.

The South Tynesiders finished bottom but the clubs at the League AGM voted to keep them in the top flight as three sides have left the Premier Division.

Champions Heaton Stannington were promoted to the Northern League Second Division and both Amble United and Harraby United have resigned, meaning that Division One champions Wallington will be joined by runners-up Red House Farm and Carlisle side Northbank in the Premier Division next term.

Morpeth Town A have left Division One, meaning that no sides were relegated from that division.

Second Division champions North Shields Athletic, runners-up Birtley Saint Josephs, New Fordley and Wooler will all take their places in the second tier in 2013/14.

Five new clubs were elected into the Northern Football Alliance with AFC Newbiggin, Chopwell, Gateshead Leam Rangers, West Allotment Celtic A and Whitburn FC joining the ranks in Division Two.

The cup draws have been made for next season and Carlisle City take on Northbank in a mouth-watering derby in the pick of the ties in the first round of the Kicks Leisure George Dobbins League Cup.

Full details of the draws will soon be available on the league website.

The Northern Football Alliance is still actively seeking sponsors for next season. Anyone interested should email league secretary Derek Booth for full details at