A CLOSE contest was expected when Sunderland West End met Ryhope CW on Saturday, but it turned out to be a stroll in the park for the Colliers.
Neil Charlton set the scene with his early strike from a corner at Ford Quarry and when he was again on target to double the lead, West End faced a formidable challenge.
It got worse as Nathan O’Neil produced a fantastic strike from 30 yards which gave goalkeeper Lee Burrell absolutely no chance of saving.
There was no way back for the home side when defender Phil Hall made it four and West End were hit for six as Richie Jordan bagged a brace of goals.
The victory keeps Ryhope a point behind Stockton Town, who also scored six goals at home to Annfield Plain.
There was no indication at the halfway stage of the goal avalanche which was to follow.
Tom Coulthard had given the leaders a third-minute lead, but Annfield comfortably held their own until the second period.
Once Kraig Wilkinson added a second goal, however, the floodgates opened with Kallum Hannah (2) and Tony Johnson (2) taking their team’s total to six. Callum Monroe claimed a 90th-minute consolation for the visitors.
Keith Brown was aiming for a third successive victory following his appointment as manager, but Horden CW went down to strugglers Boldon CA by the odd goal in three – after reversing the fixture with the original venue unplayable.
Phil Turner was an early marksman for the South Tynesiders and after Dan Flowers levelled, Gary Evans struck what turned out to be the winning goal on 35 minutes.
Horden’s cause was not helped by having Jonathan Payne sent off in the 47th minute and four minutes from the end Ethan Payne was also shown a red card.
Boldon are now fourth from bottom, a point ahead of Leam Rangers, whose fixture was postponed.
Coxhoe Athletic moved off the basement with victory in the bottom-two clash against Hartlepool.
Fortunes ebbed and flowed in the seven-goal thriller which Coxhoe won with virtually the last kick of the game.
Luke Larkin was an early scorer for Pools and after Neil Charlton levelled, the visitors went in ahead courtesy of Shane O’Brien.
Early in the second period, Stephen Parnaby restored parity and Coxhoe then went in front for the first time with Chris Baxter’s 65th-minute strike.
Coxhoe, though, then had Charlton sent off and Pools made the numerical advantage count, claiming an 85th-minute equaliser from Andy Ross.
Deep into added time, Coxhoe celebrated only their fourth win of the season as Baxter produced a fantastic shot from 30 yards which flew into the net.
Pool’s goalkeeper Robbie Clerihew was injured in the first half and replaced by Jack Stonehouse.
A more serious injury caused the abandonment of the game between Seaton Carew and Jarrow.
In the 54th minute, Seaton’s Dale Campion suffered a broken leg and the referee called a halt.
At this stage the score was 1-1 with Luke Naylor having cancelled out Liam Bayles’ first-half strike for Jarrow.
Ashbrooke Belford House’s game at Prudhoe Town and Silksworth CW’s home fixture against Easington Colliery were postponed because of waterlogged pitches as were the games involving Leam Rangers and Redcar Athletic and Wolviston versus Harton and Westoe CW.