RYHOPE CW could not have wished for a better baptism into the Ebac Northern League Second Division.
Not in their wildest dreams could the newly-promoted Wearside League champions have anticipated that they would enjoy a seven-goal romp at Stokesley SC.
Although a superb team effort won the day, there’s no denying that John Butler was the man of the match.
He was a prolific scorer helping Martin Swales’ men to successive quadruples in the Wearside League, and he proved on Saturday that stepping up is no big deal.
Butler scored Ryhope’s first ever Northern League goal and went on to end with four to his credit. Chris Winn bagged a brace, with Nathan Johnson completing the 7-0 rout.
There were six goals at Seaham Red Star, but West Allotment Celtic scored three of them, including a last-minute equaliser.
Michael Turnbull, Shannon North and Carl Thorpe had the home side ahead only for Lee Dean and Tony Lancaster (2) to strike back.
Washington edged Ryton and Crawcrook Albion 2-1, with the three goals all scored in the final five minutes. Lee Hamilton and Jake Leighton netted for the Newtowners before, in the last minute, Stephen Graham cut the arrears.
Two Craig Marron strikes steered Birtley Town to a fine 2-0 victory at Esh Winning, while Chester-le-Street gained a point at Whitehaven.
The Cestrians appeared to have won the game when Craig Davidson scored a minute into stoppage time, but, amazingly, Mattie Tymon levelled a minute later.
Horden CW held 10-man Morpeth Town to a goalless draw at Craik Park and a fourth-minute goal by Craig Nelson proved sufficient for Jarrow Roofing at home to North Shields.