Newton Aycliffe slipped to another defeat on the road as they were beaten by Guisborough.
Despite taking the lead through Tom Atkinson’s first-half strike, the Royal Blues fell to a 10th away loss of the campaign in conditions that did not encourage free-flowing football.
The Newtonians have one more away game in 2013 at Sunderland RCA on December 28, as they seek to transform their superb home form – seven wins from 11 outings and just one defeat – on the road.
Aycliffe could have moved above the Priorymen with a victory and made the perfect start when Atkinson raced on to a through ball from strike partner Jamie Owens and slotted in.
Owens nearly made it two on the half-hour mark, showing great skill to fashion a chance only to see his left-footed drive well saved by Ben Escritt.
Then, after Owens was fouled on the edge of the area, Harrison Davies fired a free-kick narrowly over Escritt’s crossbar.
But the hosts came back into it and only a superb save from Andrew Spence denied Luke Bythway a leveller.
However, Aycliffe could not manage to get into the interval ahead as Michael Roberts tapped into an empty net as Spence was deceived by the wind when coming to collect a cross.
With the gale-force conditions ruining the spectacle in the second half, the game appeared to be drifting to a drab draw.
But with 14 minutes remaining, a disputed free-kick saw Roberts drive a low effort into the bottom corner of Spence’s goal.
Aycliffe pushed forward in search of an equaliser but Danny Johnson took advantage of the gaps at the back to race clear and delicately lob Spence to secure the three points.
Allan Oliver’s men now turn their attention to back-to-back home games before Christmas, with Marske and Ashington making the trip to Moore Lane Park, where two wins could see Aycliffe move up to as high as seventh.