SEAHAM Red Star celebrated when they became the first side this season to do the double over Second Division EBAC Northern League leaders and championship favourites North Shields.
The Robins arrived in East Durham boasting a magnificent 13-match winning sequence, but found their match in Mark Collingwood’s side which fully deserved a morale-boosting 3-0 victory.
It took a penalty after an hour to break the deadlock and Dean Nicholson made no mistake, driving the ball past goalkeeper Jonathan Ball.
Within two minutes, the Star scored again as Lee Kerr turned and delivered a good shot into the net.
The Robins’ attempts to get back into the game were thwarted by the well-organised home defence and Seaham made certain of three crucial points with a late strike by David Palmer.
The Star remain fourth-top, only a point behind West Allotment Celtic who occupy the last promotion place.
They were taken to the wire by Darlington RA for whom David Webster struck with a direct free-kick before David Dormand’s brace edged Celtic to victory.
Jarrow Roofing are second, now only eight points behind North Shields.
Richie McLoughlin’s side swept to victory at Birtley Town where they built up a three-goal lead courtesy of Liam McBryde, Anthony Myers and Paul Gardner.
Although Jordan Lavery reduced the deficit just before the hour mark, Roofing were never seriously extended and in the last minute McBryde was again on target.
Norton and Stockton Ancients are also in the promotion mix and they consolidated fifth place with victory over Stokesley SC, courtesy of goals by Nick Martin, Karl Charlton and Tom Seaton. Harry Taylor and Andrew Lambert (pen) replied.
Heaton Stannington, with several games in hand on the five teams above them, cannot be discounted, but their backlog of fixtures increased when their game with South Shields was abandoned.
Colin White and Kevin Carr had the Mariners in front, but in the 65th minute, Heaton’s Lee Johnson was taken by ambulance to hospital and the game was brought to a halt.
Washington came from behind to see off Whitehaven for whom Mattie Tymon scored in the first minute.
Chris Winn rounded goalkeeper Ian Studholme for a 16th-minute equaliser, but it wasn’t until the last five minutes that the Newtowners went in front.
Winn scored a similar goal to his first and a minute from the end, Paul Cane netted after being set up by Winn.
Chester le Street’s Damien Stephens was their man-of-the-match against Northallerton Town, who played almost the entire second half with 10 men after James Howlett brought down Stephens when he was the last defender.
Craig Marron missed the penalty, but it didn’t affect the result with Stephens hitting a hat-trick before Tony Healer made it four for the Cestrians.
Colin Anderson struck from the spot for Northallerton in the 36th minute when Chester’s Kevin Dixon was red-carded for handling on the line, and just before the end the visitors claimed a second goal as Daniel Hepplewhite conceded into his own net.
The battle is on to avoid finishing in the bottom three. Ryton and Crawcrook Albion remain at the basement, although, their chances of avoiding possible relegation were enhanced with a 4-1 win over Brandon United, who are also struggling.
Phil Hodges, Lee McGill, debutant Scott Canham and Dean Sinclair earned Ryton three crucial points. Alex Wilson netted for Brandon who had Mark Brischuk sent off in the 19th minute.
Esh Winning stay second-bottom following a 3-0 defeat at Thornaby whose matchwinners were Jonathan Burton, Jarrod Livingstone and David Wells.
In Division One, Sunderland RCA’s fixture at Penrith was the only one to be postponed, but they received some good news when Team Northumbria lost at Durham City for whom Scott Fenwick and Max Stoker scored.
With Billingham Town relegated and Hebburn Town almost certain to follow them, RCA are fourth from bottom, four points ahead of Team North.
Shildon went to the top of the table with Friday night’s win over Bedlington Terriers, but their stay was short-lived and Celtic Nation returned to pole position following victory at Consett thanks to Michael Grieve and Colin McMenamin. David Coulson netted for the Steelmen.
Bishop Auckland succumbed to Whitley Bay for whom Leon Ryan was in charge for the first time.
Paul Chow struck twice before Tomi Ameobi headed into his own goal for Bishop’s only success.