IT is probably too late for Horden Comrades to avoid relegation in the Premier Division.
But they notched their second league win of the season in defeating second-bottom Easington Lane WMC 6-5 in a cracking clash.
Josh Lincoln’s strike proved to be enough to keep Easington Welfare a point clear at the top of Division One
A brilliant hat-trick from Scott French, along with Aaron Watson’s double and an effort from sub James Evans, steered Comrades home, while Lane stayed close thanks to two goals apiece from Kyle Scott and Callum Haswell, with Kevin Wear also notching.
Wingate have the Premier Division title in their own hands, with only five matches to play.
They lead closest challengers Peterlee Helford United by five points, although the teams meet each other next month in what could be a championship decider.
Dean Fox’s brace, along with efforts from Geoff Bruce and sub Alan Cossey, saw Wingate stretch their lead as they enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 win against Horden CW Supporters Club, who had Jonathan Pearson on target.
Paul Wintrip’s strike was not enough for Peterlee Catholic Club, who succumbed 2-1 to Seaham The George, whose marksmen were Shane Docherty and Marc Ruddock.
Easington CIU have fallen away in recent weeks and they lost again, going down 2-0 to Hetton The Tuns, with Chris Hugill slaming home both goals.
In the Second Division, unbeaten Shotton Builders Warehouse stayed on course for the title when Karl Garside, John Brown and Michael Boardman saw off lowly Haswell Oddfellows Arms 3-0.
The second and third-places clubs swapped places. Trimdon Colliery Royal Albion are second after a 3-1 win against New Seaham Conservative Club, thanks to Paul Wilkinson’s brace and an effort from Adam Croft, with Dan Gibson replying.
Peterlee Oaklands won their derby encounter against Acre Rigg Celtic 5-2. Two-goal Phil Robinson, Karl Arkwright, Gordon Bailey and Liam Owen did the damage, with Stuart Coxon and Scott Jackson firing consolations.
Wingate Plough Inn stayed fourth after goals from Dave Cummings, Josh Dineen, Trevor Davies and Dan Gorton defeated Hetton Fox and Hounds 4-1, with Scott Taylor responding.
A goal from Damien McAuliffe was not enough for Peterlee Hearts, who succumbed 3-1 to Seaham Marlborough, whose marksmen were Wes Smith, Aaron Abbot and Kurtis Bunts.
Ian Craggs and Danny Sloan struck for Easington Half Moon, but New Seaham Mallard ran out impressive 6-2 victors.
Shaun Hagan (2), Graham Murden, Luke Atkinson, Tony Welburn and star man Andrew Johnson notched for Mallard.
Josh Lincoln’s strike proved to be enough to keep Easington Welfare a point clear at the top of Division One.
Lincoln pounced for the only goal as his side squeezed past Easington HMS Victory 1-0 in a close-fought derby.
Easington Southside are now second after Paul Elliott’s goal defeated Hetton Social the same 1-0 score.
South Hetton Cricket Club, with games in hand on the top two, had their work cut out before edging home 2-1 against Seaham Phoenix thanks to Matthew Johnson and Liam Houghton, with Adam Wallace responding for the home side.
Thornley Harry’s Bar, 5-0 winners against Wingate Grange, also have promotion aspirations, and, with two games in hand, are only seven points adrift of leaders Easington Welfare.
FC Easington stayed in the frame, hammering Murton New Hesledon 10-3.