Washington were riding on the crest of a wave when they cast aside Shildon in the Durham Challenge Cup last Tuesday.
But they were cruelly brought down to earth in Saturday’s re-match at Dean Street.
Steve Hutchinson’s men had high hopes of completing a double and progress further up the Ebac Northern League First Division – but fired-up Shildon turned the tables in no uncertain manner, hitting the visitors with a seven-goal blast.
The Mechanics made a dream start, scoring through Mark Davison, but, from then on, it was all downhill and they were unable to curtail the scoring instincts of Billy Greulich-Smith.
He rifled four goals to inspire the Railwaymen, with Jamie Harwood, Ben Wood and Anthony Bell (penalty)adding to the woes of Washington, who suffered their heaviest defeat in a long time and had Adam McGuinness sent off in the closing stages.
Seaham Red Star were also up against one of the sides challenging for the title and they, too, were unable to take anything from the game.
Until 12 minutes from time, however, an early goal by Jamie Owens was all that separated the teams, but hosts Marske United ended up convincing 3-0 winners thanks to further strikes by Adam Preston and Nathan Mulligan.
Durham City were in with a chance of arresting a losing sequence when they were level at 2-2 against Ashington with only six minutes remaining – but debutant Andy Bulford, signed before kick-off from South Shields, clinched a last-ditch winner for the Colliers.
Dylan Williamson earlier fired the visitors into a 44th-minute lead and, after Richard Archer levelled for City at their temporary base at Consett, he conceded an own goal eight minutes later.
The Citizens hit back with a splendid equaliser from Harvey Saunders, but their hopes were shattered just before the final whistle.
Jarrow Roofing and Penrith shared the points in an uneventful goalless draw on South Tyneside, and, despite leading twice courtesy of Kyle Dobson and Stephen Young, lowly West Allotment Celtic succumbed to second-top Guisborough Town.
Danny Earl, Chay Liddle and John Helm, with a brace, netted for the visitors, who remain five points behind leaders Shildon.