NEW Hartley Juniors made it eight wins and a draw in their last nine games when they defeated Gateshead side Leam Rangers at Hartley on Saturday.
Due to the county schools playing, Hartley were forced to make five changes from the side that won 10-0 at Brandon the previous week.
The two sides have already met twice this season with Leam winning 5-4 at home while Hartley came out on top in the County Cup.
In blustery conditions it was Leam Rangers that took the lead with a great hit from outside the box by Reece Storey that gave debut keeper Liam Dodds no chance in the Hartley goal.
Hartley levelled on the stroke of half-time with a well taken goal from Reece Farrell.
The second half was evenly matched until the hour mark when when Brad McClellend put Hartley in front only minutes after having seemed what looked like a good goal ruled out.
Ten minutes from the end the Leam keeper gifted Hartley a third when he fumbled a Johnny Lowes effort into his own goal to make the final score 3-1.
Coach Mick Woods said: “Having seven or eight players away with the county schools, we could easily have called the game off, which the league allows, but we decided to rally a team together of fringe players and under 16s and get the game played, and we came out with a great result against a decent team.
“The only downfall was a bad injury to Ryan Redford, who made his return to the side after a two-month lay-off, and he will now be sidelined for a few more weeks.”
New Hartley Juniors are without a fixture this coming Saturday.