THE pressure is on Sunderland RCA after their four nearest STL Northern League challengers all picked up points at the weekend.
Neil Hixon, right, and his men were without a fixture and remain top only on goal difference from West Auckland Town, who comfortably defeated out-of-sorts Consett.
Mattie Moffat returned to haunt his former club, scoring twice and the ex-Chester-le-Street striker Elliott Gardner was also on target.
Whitley Bay missed the chance to go into pole position when they were held to a draw at Shildon, who were within a minute of claiming all three points.
They led from the 39th minute with a Craig Price penalty and the game was into the last minute when Lee Paul Scroggins snatched a crucial point for the Seahorses.
Dunston UTS stay fourth with several games in hand on the leading trio.
They improved their goal difference when they went nap at home to Penrith.
Goals flowed from Andrew Bulford (2), Stephen Goddard (2) and Terry Galbraith.
In the closing minutes Robert Bowman netted for the Cumbrians.
Although fifth, Spennymoor Town are just five points off the top and they have played fewer games than the other four challenging sides.
An expected big win at rock-bottom Stokesley SC didn’t materialise, however and it was only in the final minutes that Jason Ainsley’s team made certain of the points.
After taking a seventh-minute lead through Sonny Andrews it was not until the 82nd minute that Gavin Cogden made it two and just before the end Adam Johnston added a third goal.
Stokesley look certain to be relegated and a number of clubs are also battling to avoid joining them in Division Two.
Tow Law Town gave Ashington a good game, but defeat leaves them second from bottom, five points from safety.
Andrew Johnson and Marc Walton earned the Colliers the points, with Mark Nixon on target from the spot for the Lawyers.
Jarrow Roofing’s downward slide continued at home to Newton Aycliffe and they are third from the basement after conceding goals to James Jardine, Nathan Wilson and Ben Wood.
A week ago Billingham Town scored seven times, but on Saturday they were on the receiving end of a seven-goal mauling from Bedlington Terriers and remain firmly entrenched in the relegation dogfight.
Hat-trick hero Anthony Shandran, John Campbell, with a brace, Chris Dunwell (og) and Ian Graham swept Terriers to an emphatic victory.
In Division Two, Horden CW clinched three vital points as they battle against the drop.
Bobby Orton’s new charges went in front through Andrew Ramsbottom on 75 minutes, but Marcus Laing levelled almost immediately.
Bobby’s son Tom then came to his side’s rescue, saving a Craig Skelton penalty and five minutes from the end, Shaun Ryder made no mistake from the spot to earn Horden only their fifth win in 27 attempts.
Easington Colliery stay bottom after losing to North Shields, who extended a magnificent unbeaten away record to 25 games.
Kevin Hughes, Paul Dunn and Andy Hay all scored in the opening half and the Robins remain second, seven points behind Team Northumbria with four games in hand.
Seaham Red Star were disappointed at leaking an 88th-minute winner to Whitehaven’s Kevin Connelly.
Red Star are third from the basement and Washington are just above them after they went down to Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, also embroiled in the battle against relegation.
Dan Young headed the Newtowners in front before Paul Henderson Reay levelled and then scored the winner in the last minute.
Chester-le-Street’s improvement continued at home to Esh Winning, who twice led courtesy of Craig Nichol and Craig Coates. Scott Swanston and Tom Vickers replied for the Cestrians.