Depleted Ancients battle to a draw.
A POOR midweek performance from high-flying Middlesbrough gave injury-hit Norton and Stockton Ancients a vital point in their FA Women's Premier League Northern Division One fixture.
The third bottom Stockton side, playing without five senior players, gave a great performance which was worthy of more than their 2-2 draw.
The result saw Middlesbrough slip from top spot, though they fought back at the weekend to regain their number one status with a 4-2 win at Stockport County.
Boro opened the scoring through Bianca Owens in the 25th minute and Nyci Thorns doubled the advantage seven minutes later.
An own goal from Emma Foster brought Stockport back into the game shortly before the break, but second half goals from Clare Helm and Bianca Owens sealed the win.
Ancients had a tougher task at the weekend as they were struggled against higher division opposition in the FA WPL Cup competition.
The Stockton side were unable to cope against Bradford, again missing several players, as they succumbed 17-0. Elsewhere, Hartlepool Utd moved up into second place in the Durham County League with a 7-1 win at South Shields, while Guisborough AFC demolished hosting Brooklyn Ladies 9-0 to move up to fifth in the North Riding League.
South Park Rangers are joint first in that league after they enjoyed a 5-1 win at home over Fishburn Park, who are still without a point this season.
Stokesley share top spot after their 4-3 home defeat to unbeaten Poppleton.
Middlesbrough Reserves remain winless this season after losing 3-2 at Stoke City Reserves in the FA WPL Reserves Cup, though Sam McGovern got both goals for Boro.
Stockton West End remain top of the Durham County Development League with a 100% record following a 3-0 win at South Shields Development. Hartlepool United Reserves grabbed their second win of the season when they beat hosting Felling Magpies 3-2.