SUNDERLAND West End climbed into the top six with a fourth win in six games on Saturday.
But they left it precariously late before defeating Coxhoe Athletic.
Coxhoe passed up several excellent scoring opportunities and paid the penalty in the last minute when Jamie Fryatt finally broke the deadlock as West End came up trumps for Steve Patton’s men, despite not repeating some of their impressive early-season form.
Both sides had a man sent off, with Adam McDonald seeing red for the hosts.
Champions Ryhope CW stayed second, a point behind Redcar Athletic with two games in hand, after stretching their 100 per cent record to six games.
Despite never being at their best, Ryhope – still missing a host of players – saw off a strong challenge from Hartlepool, who went into the game on the back of four consecutive wins.
Ryan Metcalfe fired Martin Swales’ Ryhope men in front on 20 minutes and newcomer Martin Hope scored his second goal in two games to make the game safe at 2-0 two minutes from time.
Bottom club Silksworth Rangers suffered a sixth defeat seven, losing 3-1 to Stockton Town.
Anthony Rogerson had Rangers ahead with a 19th-minute penalty, but Tom Hinchley levelled right on half-time. Andy Westwood and Tony Johnson sealed Silksworth’s fate.
Peterlee Town missed two penalties but were still good enough to defeat newcomers Leam Rangers 3-1 in an incident-packed clash which saw three penalties and two dismissals.
David Laight struck for Town, but also had a spot-kick saved by goalie Dean Saunders – who earlier kept out another penalty.
Robert Huntley was also on target, while Lee Turnbull converted a 47th-minute penalty for Leam.
Jarrow took leaders Redcar Athletic to the wire before going down 2-1 to an 89th-minute Billy Millington strike. Earlier, Jarrow’s sub Liam Bayles – with his first touch – equalised Richie Playforth’s opener.
Ashbrooke Belford House exited the Shipowners’ Cup following a thrilling extra-time tie against Darlington Cleveland Bridge.
Lee Andrews gave Belford a 65th-minute lead, but a defensive lapse let in Mark Caley to level. Another blunder in extra time gave Mike Carter the chance to fire Bridge through.
Despite Chris Robinson cancelling out Colin Snailham’s fifth-minute strike, Boldon CA lost to Annfield Plain, for whom Mark Patterson fired a late winner.
Scott Ormston netted for Prudhoe as they lost 3-1 to Cleator Moor in the Monkwearmouth Cup.