IF two games are any guide, Ryhope CW have nothing to fear in the Ebac Northern League Second Division.
And in striker John Butler they have the man of the moment.
On Saturday, he struck four times as the Wearsiders stormed to a 7-0 win at Stokesley SC and last night, he repeated the magnificent feat in a 5-2 success at Whickham.
The Whickham defence simply had no answer and by the 40th minute, Butler had scored another four goals.
Before the break, Mark Catcheside made it five and although Tony Thirkell and Eddie Keenan replied in the second half, they couldn’t take the gloss off what was another hugely encouraging result for Martin Swales’ team.
Birtley Town have also made a promising start and they made it three wins on the bounce, defeating Whitehaven.
It was a close call however and it took a 93rd minute penalty from Craig Marron to end a strong response from Whitehaven, who looked a well beaten team at the half-way stage.
Former Horden CW player Jack Honour gave Birtley a first-minute lead and the Cumbrians went three down as Marron and Danny Smart added further goals in the opening half.
But by the hour mark, Craig Robson had replied twice and in the last minute of normal time, Stuart Shaw levelled with a penalty.
There was still time for Birtley to be awarded a spot kick and Marron kept his cool to beat goalkeeper Stuart Petitt.
Chester-le-Street and Washington fought out a goal-less draw at Chester Moor Park while Seaham Red Star’s fixture with Jarrow Roofing was abandoned after 70 minutes because of a floodlight failure.
At this stage, the score was 2-2 with Michael Turnbull and Daniel Olusoga on target for the hosts and Michael Hedley and David Malloy for the South Tynesiders.
Northallerton Town coasted to victory at Alnwick Town with a hat-trick by Adam Emson and one goal from Carl Chillingsworth.
In Division One, Sunderland RCA just edged Durham City at New Ferens Park.
Dale Jardine gave Neil Hixon’s side the lead and after Stephen Thompson restored parity with a swerving 20 yard effort, Jardine struck the winner.
South Shields twice equalised and went on to defeat Norton and Stockton Ancients 3-2 at Filtrona Park. Glen Ford, Lee Bell and Chris Feasey were the match-winners with Jordan Marshall and Dale Mulligan finding the net for Norton.
Sonny Andrews and Chris Lawson led Bishop Auckland to victory at Penrith and Consett defeated Celtic Nation by a similar scoreline, their marksmen being Andy Cuthbertson and Ryan Bell.
Darlington 1883 are quickly finding their feet in the competition. They won for the second time when Chris Emms, Shaun Reay and Steven Johnson netted against Marske United.
Ashington have also made a winning start and despite conceding the lead to Lee Kerr, they defeated Whitley Bay before a crowd of 501 at Hillheads. Marc Walton, with a brace, and Callum Little were on target.