AT one time, the village of Horden was a hot-bed for local football but the Colliery Welfare side now find themselves bottom of the Ebac Northern League Second Division after they failed to arrest a long losing sequence at Brandon United, who started the day third from the basement.
It was Darren Atkinson’s side, though, which led at the interval through Peter Crawford but Brandon hit back with goals from Lee Tinkler and Glen Hendrix (2) in the space of eight minutes.
The Colliers now trail Alnwick Town, who languished at the bottom for most of the season, by two points.
The Northumbrians raised their hopes of escaping the drop when they hammered Esh Winning, now third from bottom, in a five-goal romp.
Dan Thompson bagged a brace with Tony Brown, Gary Patterson and Ben Keenan earning Alnwick their biggest win for a very long time. Darren Kokes was Esh’s only marksman.
Crook Town remain out in front but they had to settle for a point against fifth-placed Darlington RA at The Millfield ground.
Chris Wallace fired Crook in front on 52 minutes but RA turned the tables with goals from Martin Butterworth and Steve Allison before Richard Hodgson claimed Crook’s equaliser.
Ryhope CW’s home fixture with Chester le Street was postponed and third-top Seaham Red Star closed in following victory at Tow Law Town.
The sides produced a cracking contest with Mattie Scott earning the Lawyers a 30th-minute lead, his right-foot shot giving goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook no chance.
Substitute Channon North fired in Red Star’s equaliser on 65 minutes and a minute later, Stephen Robinson, who had an outstanding game, saved a penalty from Seaham’s Kris Goss.
Don Wilson had an effort rebound from the Seaham upright before Goss atoned for his earlier miss by grabbing the winner with a fine opportunist goal five minutes from the end.
In Division One, Sunderland RCA and Durham City produced an entertaining game at Meadow Park, despite the difficult conditions.
The Citizens went ahead after 23 minutes when a cross from Max Stoker was volleyed into his own net by John Parker, attempting to clear. RCA levelled on the hour. A corner by Nick Kane was parried by City goalkeeper Gareth Young but the ball fell to Ross Preston who made no mistake from 10 yards.
There were chances for both teams to win the game. RCA goalkeeper Graham made two outstanding saves from Ian Ward and Scott Fenwick and at the other end Young denied Aristote Guerin Lakonga before a shot from Jamie Clarke flashed narrowly wide.
Darlington 1883 stretched their lead at the top of the table to nine points, although Spennymoor Town have five games in hand.
The Quakers went nap at Marske United courtesy of Terry Galbraith (2), Steven Johnson (2) and David Dowson.
West Auckland Town stay third and heaped more pressure on relegation-threatened Billingham Town when they comfortably won thanks to goals from Mattie Moffat (2), Elliott Gardner and Stuart Banks. Debutant Danny Brunskill was the Teessiders’ only scorer.
Whitley Bay maintained fourth place coming from behind to defeat Ashington for whom Glen Taylor was a first-half scorer. Chris Fawcett levelled with Ash Davis claiming the winner.
Bedlington Terriers snatched victory at Team Northumbria for whom Dan Riley (pen) and Jack Palmer cancelled out goals from Mark Doninger and Paul Brayson. In the last minute Dylan Williamson hit the winner to keep Terriers in fifth position.
Bishop Auckland are sixth after they hit relegation-threatened Penrith for six as the goals flowed from four-goals man-of-the-match Andrew Johnson, Dale Jardine and Chris Bell. Scott Allison and Richard Faustino replied for the Cumbrians who are fourth from bottom.
The crucial relegation clash between Norton and Stockton Ancients and South Shields was called off but Newcastle Benfield eased their drop fears when an only goal by Sam Norris earned them an unexpected victory against Shildon.