DIVISION Two’s top two – North Shields and West Allotment Celtic – saw their games postponed on Saturday and Seaham Red Star took advantage to close in on the leading pair.
They had a scare before going nap at home to Alnwick Town, for whom Keith Douglas hit the crossbar with a first-half penalty.
Red Star dominated the second period and goals flowed from Dean Nicholson, Lewis Wing, Josh Allen, Lee Kerr and Josh Home Jackson.
Seaham stay third, now only a point behind West Allotment and with a better goal difference than the Tynesiders, who have three games in hand on their rivals.
Jarrow Roofing consolidated fourth place but they were taken to the wire before seeing off a determined challenge by Darlington RA.
The only goal came on the stroke of half-time when Danny Carson played a low ball into the box which was converted by Liam McBryde.
Roofing goalkeeper Andy Hunter made a number of outstanding saves to keep his side in front.
Norton and Stockton Ancients moved up into fifth place when they came from behind to defeat Tow Law Town in an eight-goal thriller.
Dale Mulligan struck for the Teessiders after only five minutes, but the Lawyers went in at the break two goals up following strikes by Dan Wilson and Dean Thexton, with a brace. Norton had the better of the second half, though, and scored four times through Marcus Laing, Nicky Martin, John Seaton and Gary Mitchell.
Washington moved into the middle of the table for the first time this season but, after leading by three goals at the interval, they only just edged second-bottom Esh Winning 4-3 at Nissan.
James Fairley ran onto a through ball and rounded goalkeeper Tom Orton for the Newtowners’ opener and five minutes later he drove into the far corner of the net for 2-0.
It looked all over for Esh as Mark Davison headed in a Michael Coghlan cross, but, in the second half, the visitors hit back.
Luke Thompson reduced the deficit, heading in a free-kick on 50 minutes and 12 minutes from the end Anthony Philipson drove home.
At this stage, the result was uncertain, but the pressure on Washington was relieved when Aaron Croft delivered a good finish from the edge of the penalty area.
Within three minutes, however, the Newtowners’ two-goal cushion was reduced to one by Graeme Embleton’s free-kick. An exciting finale ensued as Washington held on for their 12th win in 19 games.
Willington ended with only nine men, losing to Stokesley SC at Hall Lane. Graeme Lazenby was on target for the hosts after 36 minutes and Greg Upton levelled for Stokesley early in the second period.
The home side had Corey Nicholson red-carded on 80 minutes and six minutes later Matthew Robinson headed in the winner. With a minute remaining Willington’s Liam Whitworth was also dismissed.