The Philadelphia hit eight goals for the second successive week as they demolished Richmond Town 8-1 to stay third in Division Three
The game started off with a high tempo and, after a few half-chances, Ian Pallas cut in from the right, beat his marker and, from an acute angle, steered the ball home.
The home side kept up the pressure and, from a corner, Paul Russell took the kick and guided it over the keeper’s head and into the top right-hand corner of the net.
The Philadelphia, thinking the game was swinging their way, were brought swiftly to task, when a Richmond defender unleashed a 25-yard shot that rocketed into the top corner of the net, giving the home keeper no chance.
The score stayed the same until after half-time, when Phili came out fighting and increased their lead with two well-taken goals, scored by Mark Nixon and Andrew Bainbridge.
As the game went on, Richmond tired badly and further goals were scored by Adrian Hall and Nixon, when he outjumped their keeper to claim his hat-trick. The final goal was created by some good approach play by Russell, who took the ball into Richmond’s area and set up Steve Hill to score his first goal for the club.
Blue House moved six points clear, winning 4-0 in their derby at Rolls-Royce, while closest challengers Wingate Cons were held to a 2-2 draw by Hedworthfield Red Hackle.
Willow Pond kept up their form with a 2-1 success against Sedgefield Black Lion, while Washington JFC Biddick Inn did just enough to beat Houghton Cricket 1-0.
Bottom club Boldon Colliery Tavern succumbed 3-1 to visitors Hartlepool Stag & Monkey, bagging a late consolation in a tough game.
In Division Two, unbeaten Thornley Celtic held off gallant visitors Hylton CW to win 3-2, to regain pole position.
Seaham slipped from top spot after they were beaten 1-0 by visitors Mill View SC.
Peterlee Helford pipped Hartlepool Catholic Club 2-1, going ahead on 75 minutes and adding a decisive second goal, again on the break.
Gateshead Rutherford outgunned Darsley Park 5-1 to move level with fourth-placed Hylton CW, while Cobblers Hall forced a 1-1 draw at Blakelaw SC to move off the bottom of the table and Durham Stonebridge were pipped 5-4 in a thriller at South Shields Catholic Club.
Much-improved Colonel Prior made good use of a very gusty wind in their backs against Billingham Vets, in the first half, while Billingham struggled in their Fourth Division clash.
Prior went ahead through Kev Quigley, but Billingham levelled when a strong challenge by Colin McKenzie forced the ball home.
Billingham had the wind advantage in the second half and they dominated the play to run out 6-1 winners.
Lee Dale, with a scorching 30-yard shot claimed the second goal, then Daren Harrison and Virgil Stanciu, with a neat header, extended the lead to 4-1. Mark Fisher headed a fifth before Nicolae Stanciu side-stepped the keeper for the final goal.
Oddfellows Arms sprang a major surprise, winning 2-0 at previously unbeaten leaders New Marske SC.
Marske’s defeat allowed Newcastle East End to move top with a 15th win out of 15, 2-0 at Shildon Grey Horse.
Ivy Legends handed out a 6-1 beating to Hartlepool Vets, never looking back after grabbing a first-minute opener.
Bottom club Wearmouth Old Boys lost 3-0 to Durham County Strollers and Trimdon Vets beat Hartlepool Tech 1-0.
In Division One, Washington Sandpiper maintained their momentum with a 2-0 derby triumph against Grindon Broadway, who slipped to fifth place with the defeat.
Second-top Wearmouth CW romped home 6-1 at Dubmire to stay three points behind leaders Heaton Stannington, who thumped St Mary’s College 4-0.
Easington CIU rose a place to fourth after a 1-0 defeat of Coxhoe Red Lion.
The Milbourne Arms lost 1-0 to Hartlepool Gillen Arms to stay second-bottom, while Pelton Crown dropped to fifth-bottom spot after a 2-0 defeat to North Ormesby Vets.
Ryhope Foresters and Red House WMC could not be separated in their Premier Division derby, the close-fought clash ending 2-2.
The pair remain in sixth and fifth places respectively.
Lowly Steels King Bros lost 2-0 at second-top Marden, while unbeaten leaders Hartlepool Touchdown beat resilient Billingham Swan 1-0 to claim their 14th win in 16 games.
Bottom club Blyth Sea Horse were beaten 3-0 at Darlington Shuttle & Loom, while Hebburn Town climbed to ninth after pipping Tudhoe Black Horse 2-1. Cramlington Burton House consolidated third place with a 2-0 victory over Wallsend Community.
The league has a break over the Christmas holidays and starts up again on January 9.
The next league meeting takes place on January 5.