CHESTER-le-Street were hit by a six-goal blast from rampant Jarrow Roofing who are mounting a determined EBAC Northern League challenge to return to the top flight at the first attempt, writes MALCOLM PRATT.
Despite conceding a fifth-minute lead to Michael Hepplewhite, Richie McLoughlin’s side quickly dominated the game and the goals flowed from Liam McBryde (2), Andrew Grant Soulsby, Peter Kane, David Palmer and Daniel Smart.
Roofing stay third, eight points behind Ryhope CW with three games in hand.
The Wearsiders endured a close call before seeing off Washington with a goal by John Butler, who headed past goalkeeper Chris Bannon 20 minutes from time.
Crook Town lead the table and they too were taken to the wire by bottom-of-the-table Alnwick Town who led until the 89th minute.
Kyle Davis gave the Millfield men an early advantage, but Crook were rocked as Tom Vickers levelled and Tony Brown converted an 84th-minute penalty.
With just a minute remaining Warren Byrne restored parity and deep into added time Davis drove in the winner.
Seaham Red Star’s promotion hopes received another setback at Brandon United where they led by three goals and then leaked six.
It appeared they were coasting home as Shaun Sweeney, Kevin Gordon and Alan Pegram struck in the opening 45 minutes, but amazingly lowly Brandon produced a magnificent rally with Mark Bell scoring four times and Mark Costello twice.
Horden CW gave another encouraging performance despite losing to fifth-placed Darlington RA for whom Aaron Ramsbottom scored the only goal.
Birtley Town picked up a useful point at Thornaby where three players were sent off.
Michael Joseph gave the Teessiders the advantage, but on 44 minutes they had Joe Gibson dismissed and 11 minutes into the second half, Matthew Ramage was also red-carded.
It took Birtley until the 83rd minute for Ben Johnson to equalise and in the last minute the visitors’ Philip Temple became the third player to receieve a red card.
Esh Winning stay third from bottom following defeat at promotion candidates North Shields for whom Adam Forster and James Harmison struck after Stuart Thompson had given Esh the advantage.
In Division One, Sunderland RCA are almost up to mid-table after they plunged Norton and Stockton Ancients to the bottom with victory on Teesside.
It was Norton though who struck first through Liam Woodhouse, but Neil Hixon’s side quickly hit back with goals from Aristote Guerin Lakonga, Jamie Clarke and Elliott Cutts.
Durham City are immediately below RCA. Ollie Hotchkiss had an early penalty saved by Celtic Nation goalkeeper Daniel Lowson before Ian Ward headed the Citizens into a 63rd-minute lead.
Within two minutes, the Cumbrians were back in the game as Graeme Lee struck following a Jeff Smith corner and five minutes from the end City conceded the winner to Michael Reid.
South Shields moved off the bottom for the first time in weeks. After defeating Guisborough Town in the previous game, they edged Marske United with goals from Liam Henderson and Jason Brazauskas. Lewis Tidy had equalised for Marske.
Three of the four bottom sides all won. Billingham Town remain ahead of Norton and South Shields following victory over Team Northumbria courtesy of Harrison Davies (2), Josh McDonald and Stephen Flockett.
There was an unexpected success for Penrith at Hebburn Town where Martin Coleman (2), Robert Bowman and William Paul earned their side three vital points. Paul Gardner was Hebburn’s only scorer.
Newcastle Benfield were behind three times, but were leading with only a minute remaining at home to Guisborough Town and the game eventually ended with the points shared.
Gary Day (2), Gary Ormston and Stephen Young netted for Benfield with Gary Wood (2) and Michael Roberts (2) replying.
Following Spennymoor Town’s defeat at the hands of leaders Darlington 1883 on Friday night, West Auckland are now level on points with Jason Ainsley’s side.
John Campbell and Mattie Moffat were the matchwinners against Bedlington Terriers, who replied through Paul Brayson.