RYHOPE CW’s long winning streak finally came to an end in a difficult game at Stockton Town.
The Wearsiders’ prediction of a tough match was spot-on as Stockton became the first side to deny Martin Swales’ team all three points and led for a long period through Tony Johnson’s 25th-minute volley.
Callum Charlton failed from the penalty spot after an hour and there were only 12 minutes remaining as Martin Metcalfe scored the equaliser.
Ryhope still remain top, however, with nine wins and a draw from 10 games.
Following consecutive defeats, Redcar Athletic returned to winning form and second place when they saw off Wolviston with goals by Roy Hunter, James Kesterton and Richie Playforth. Martin Woodhouse scored a late consolation for the Teessiders.
Willington were on cup duty and stay third, with Jarrow fourth following their victory over Coxhoe Athletic.
Peter Kane (2), Daryl Donnelly and Peter Kirkham had the South Tynesiders four-up by half-time, but when Michael Johnson struck twice, it needed a late fifth goal from Liam Bayles to make sure of the points.
Silksworth Rangers claimed only their fourth point of the season in the local derby with Ashbrooke Belford House.
James Gilhespy fired Rangers into a two-goal lead and after Martin Deacon and Neil Moan struck at the other end, Gilhespy completed his hat-trick to raise Silksworth’s hopes of a win.
Four minutes from time, however, Moan netted again to earn his side a point.
Sunderland West End were first to score through Gavin Dorwood at Hartlepool, but ended well beaten.
Ian Davies restored parity and three minutes later took over in goal for Pools when Jamie Lawrence was injured.
The reshuffle didn’t affect the hosts, who romped home with second-half strikes from Scott Hine (2) and Paul Gibson.
Peterlee Town gained a point at Boldon CA, where Philip Hickman cancelled out Graeme Mathieson’s early strike.
Lee Bannister (og) and Robert Dixon appeared to have put Gateshead Leam Rangers into a winning position, but Kirkbymoorside hit back to score four second-half goals through Jonathan Brown, Tim Sharples, Sarjo Cham and Liam Cooper.
Darlington Cleveland Bridge were another side to score four times. Danny McLachlan, Jack Johns, Michael Carter and Dale Sheridan were all on target at home to Prudhoe Town, who failed to reply.