SEAHAM Red Star fielded a weakened side but held newly-installed Ebac Northern League Second Division leaders Heaton Stannington until the last minute.
John Wright turned in the box and fired the Tynesiders into a 35th-minute lead but battling Seaham hit back with a splendid equaliser from Shannon North.
It looked as if Mark Collingwood’s team had done sufficient to earn a share of the points but in the 90th minute their hopes evaporated as Lee Johnson headed past goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook for the winner.
Heaton have a one-point lead over North Shields and Red Star remain third, six points off the leaders with a game in hand.
Jarrow Roofing stay eighth after they missed the chance to go third when they were held to a draw by Stokesley SC.
Luke Woodall broke clear to fire in the opening goal on 28 minutes and midway during the second period Dean Nicholson set up Paul Gardner for Roofing’s equaliser. In added time, Andrew Appleby thought he had clinched victory for Jarrow but the referee ruled offside – much to the consternation of the home team.
South Shields shared the points with Darlington RA at Brinkburn Road where all six goals were scored in the opening 41 minutes.
Adam Burnicle bagged a brace for the Mariners before Jordan Fraser conceded an own goal. Stephen Ramsey restored a two-goal cushion from the penalty spot but almost immediately RA were awarded a spot-kick which Jimmy Muir converted.
Stephen Allison then made it 3-3 and following the first-half goal fest, neither side managed a winner in the second period. On 72 minutes Mariners’ goalkeeper Jak Wells was injured and Jordan Fraser took over.
Despite scoring in the first minute with a Craig Winter own goal, Whickham went down at Thornaby who eased their position near the bottom with strikes by Chris Burton (2) and Joe Melvin.
In Division One, Billingham Town are pointless after suffering a 13th consecutive defeat when they were hit for six by Newton Aycliffe. Jamie Owens rifled four goals with Scott Oliver and Daniel Wilson also on target. James McLeod claimed a consolation for Billingham.
Hebburn Town were also on the receiving end of a heavy defeat. Dunston UTS dominated a one-sided game with goals from Johnny Wightman (3) and Lee McAndrew (2).
West Auckland Town are now the only unbeaten side after Marske United succumbed to Ashington for whom Glen Taylor scored the only goal with an exquisite chip over goalkeeper Robert Dean.
Billingham Synthonia won a cracking game at Whitley Bay with an 88th-minute goal from Matthew Osmond.
In added time, the Seasiders were denied an equaliser as Robert Nolan’s shot hit the woodwork.
Bishop Auckland edged Consett by the odd goal in five at Heritage Park. Shaun Tarling and Dean Douglas had them comfortable by the 23rd minute but the Steelmen hit back through Scott Canham.
Just before the interval, Douglas was again on target but when Luke Sullivan netted it was all to play for in the final 18 minutes. Bishops though held on and are now close to halfway in the table.
Norton and Stockton Ancients defeated Annfield Plain with a Gary Mitchell penalty to reach the second round of the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup.