Washington, unbeaten in their first 10 fixtures, have now taken just one point from the last four after going down 3-2 in a feisty First Division contest at Penrith.
Martyn Coleman converted an early penalty for the Cumbrians and, following Mark Davison’s equaliser, Mechanics manager Steven Hutchinson and his counterpart were sent to the stands during the interval.
Jamie Hope restored the advantage to Penrith, who then had Steven Logan sent off in the 52nd minute. This incident resulted in Penrith’s assistant manager also being ordered into the stand.
Despite being down to 10 men, Penrith made it 3-1 through Ben Jackson and although Davison scored a second goal on 83 minutes, Washington were unable to produce an equaliser.
Norton and Stockton Ancients remain in the relegation zone and Dunston UTS moved to fourth-top following a 5-0 victory away to the Teessiders.
Malcolm Morien was again in superb form, scoring four goals with Liam Thear the other marksman.
In Division Two, South Shields’ lead at the top is now nine points.
They were without a fixture and Ryhope CW, who have two games in hand, closed in with an emphatic 4-0 romp at Whickham, where Josh Home Jackson (2), Conor Winter and Damien Stevens scored.
Easington Colliery are third following a hard-earned 3-2 win at Thornaby. Joe Kerridge fired them ahead and, following Nathan Steel’s equaliser, Bryan Norton and Peter Jones had the Colliers two goals in front before the hour mark.
Easington were never seriously threatenened and it wasn’t until the last minute that Steel converted a penalty.
Birtley Town, fourth from bottom, were denied victory by Billingham Town, for whom Callum Croker cancelled out Michael Gray’s first-half strike with just a minute remaining.