Seaham Red Star top the Ebac Northern League First Division form table, but Sunderland RCA continue on a slippery slope.
Red Star’s latest success saw them defeat Washington 3-1 and they have now taken 15 points from their last five games to move into fifth position.
Only seven minutes had been played before Chris McCabe’s men took the lead. Craig Lynch and Robbie Bird combined and Denver Morris completed the move with a clinical finish.
The Mechanics hit back, but it was an own goal which raised the hopes of Neil Hixon’s men. David Scorer was the unlucky defender in a goalmouth scramble.
Early in the second half, Seaham regained the advantage with a tremendous goal from Jack Walker who, after playing a one-two with Lynch, unleashed an unstoppable shot which gave Washington keeper Dale Connor no chance.
Red Star were playing attractive football which was rewarded with a third, decisive goal midway during the second half which just about killed off the Mechanics.
The impressive Lynch received a pass following a move down the right and he powerfully slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Seaham are enjoying a purple patch, McCabe enjoying three wins out of three in charge and the team on a run of eight straight victories in all competitions, but things are not going quite so well up the road for Sunderland RCA.
Martin Swales’ men have claimed only two points out of the last 18 after going down to new leaders North Shields at the Daren Persson Stadium.
Seven days earlier, the sides played out a goalless draw at Meadow Park, but it took the Wearsiders only six minutes to break the deadlock as Callum Hassan fired past goalkeeper Kyle Hayes.
This proved to be their only high point though and the Robins – the only unbeaten side in the division – made it eight wins and four draws from 12 matches as they won 3-1.
Kevin Hughes equalised in the 35th minute, Bobby Taylor fired them in front and, after Dean Holmes missed a penalty midway through the second half, Ryan Carr bagged a last-gasp clincher to delight a 303-strong crowd.
South Shields were on Vase duty and are now second, just three points ahead of in-form Newton Aycliffe, for whom scoring predator John Campbell was outstanding.
He scored four of his team’s five goals – Dennis Knight notched the other – in a 5-2 victory against Marske United, whose marksmen were Jamie Owens and Danny Earl.
Shildon remain in fourth spot. Although lowly West Allotment Celtic successfully defended their goal for an hour, they were eventually overwhelmed by the Railwaymen, who ran out 3-0 winners, courtesy of strikes from Lewis Wing, David Ferguson and Michael Rae.
Morpeth Town are just a point behind Seaham, in sixth place. They had the edge on Dunston UTS when Michael Chilton (2), Damon Mullen and Mateusz Halambiec scored in a 4-2 win. Oliver Leedham and Scott Heslop replied.
In Division Two, Durham City leapfrogged Tow Law Town when they came from behind to secure a 3-1 victory at Ironworks Road.
John Meadows was the Lawyers’ first-half scorer, but, after the break, the Citizens took control and three goals flowed from Sam Norris, with a brace, and Dan O’Riley.
Crook Town are fourth bottom after losing for the 10th time in 13 games. Despite scoring first through Lewis Martin, they went down 2-1 to visitors Whickham whose match-winners were David Fitzpatrick and Ross Peareth.
Willington also lost away to lowly Brandon United, who managed a third successive win in an impressive form surge, when Shane Todd scored the only goal to sink the Hall Lane outfit.