SEAHAM Red Star missed the chance to go fifth in the Ebac Northern League Division Two when they were surprisingly defeated at relegation-threatened Esh Winning, who have been in freefall for several weeks.
The home side made a dream start with Neil Campbell converting an Anthony Philipson cross on five minutes and 15 minutes later, Campbell headed on to Darren Morton, who also beat Star goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook.
Worse was to follow for the visitors as Darren Kokes made it three when one-on-one with Newbrook and a minute into the second half, Kevin Hamilton added a fourth goal.
There were only three minutes remaining when Alan Pegram claimed a consolation goal for Seaham, who remain in seventh place.
Darlington RA and Morpeth Town both picked up points to keep the pressure on leading trio Crook Town, Ryhope CW and Jarrow Roofing.
RA are now five points adrift of Roofing after inflicting a damaging defeat on North Shields whose promotion hopes have taken a big knock with two weekend defeats.
Keith Douglas gave the Robins the lead at Brinkburn Road but after Nick Harrison levelled, Douglas was sent off on 76 minutes and seven minutes later Stephen Cheeseman drove in the winner.
Morpeth are fifth, with games in hand on the four sides above them. They were held to a draw by West Allotment Celtic for whom Liam Hudson equalised with a clinical shot from the edge of the penalty area after Michael Chilton had taken advantage of a poor clearance to give Morpeth a 55th-minute lead.
Sunderland RCA slipped to seventh from bottom in the First Division when resurgent Billingham Town defeated Billingham Synthonia in the Teesside derby.
Until recently, Billingham Town looked doomed but all of a sudden their form has taken off and from languishing in the bottom three for several weeks, they are now ninth-from-the-basement.
Following victory by an only goal against Consett on Saturday, they gained another three crucial points when one goal proved sufficient at the Glamal Stadium.
Chay Liddle and Nathan Jameson both went close for Synners in a scrappy opening half and within a minute of the restart, Town broke the deadlock.
Nicky Martin found space in front of goal to drive past keeper Tim Griffiths.
Griffiths then saved from Christian Selby and Matthew Garbutt as Town threatened more goals but a minute from the end Town goalkeeper Danny Molyneux kept his side in front, saving from Jameson.
Norton and Stockton Ancients leap-frogged South Shields to move off the bottom of the table for the first time in weeks but both sides have mountains to climb if they are to avoid the drop.
Anthony Hume out-jumped goalkeeper Andrew Jennison to give Norton the lead at home to Team Northumbria for whom John Sherlock equalised, firing past debutant goalkeeper Joseph Fryer. Late in the game Jennison denied Norton a winning goal when he saved superbly from Michael Jordan and Shaun Clarke.
Marske United are another side fighting against the drop and defeat in the derby at Guisborough Town hasn’t done their cause any good.
Neither side yielded an inch and the only goal came on 68 minutes when Michael Roberts was one-on-one with Marske goalkeeper Oliver West and he made no mistake from close-range.
At the top, Spennymoor Town are now just a point behind second-placed West Auckland Town, with eight games in hand after they defeated Whitley Bay at The Brewery field.
Jason Ainsley’s team though were helped all the way by the Seahorses who had goalkeeper Kyle Hayes sent off for handling outside the box after just four minutes.
Without a named keeper as substitute, Paul Chow took over, but it was Whitley who scored first through Chris Fawcett on 18 minutes.
From then on, though, it was a stroll in the park for Moors who eased their way to three crucial points with goals by Andrew Stephenson, Daniel Moore and Leon Ryan.
Spennymoor are now 26 points behind leaders Darlington 1883 having played nine fewer games.