IN-FORM Chester-le-Street dented North Shields’ Second Division promotion hopes when they won by the odd goal in three at Chester Moor Park on Saturday.
Andrew Grant Soulsby headed in a corner on 33 minutes, but when Danny Smart replied for the Robins 11 minutes from time, it was all to play for.
There were only four minutes left on the clock when recent signing Damien Stevens broke clear and his cross was slid into the net by Stephen Telford for a dramatic winner.
Seaham Red Star are fifth following a crucial win at home to Whitehaven.
The only goal came on 35 minutes when Adam Johnston picked up a long through ball and beat goalkeeper Stuart Pettit from 20 yards.
Washington gave another encouraging performance in holding Jarrow Roofing to a draw and are now four points clear of the last relegation place.
After Paul Gardiner had given Richie McLoughlin’s side the advantage, the Newtowners roared into a 3-1 lead with strikes by David Southern, Peter Kane (penalty) and Paul Wardle.
Stephen Young threw Roofing a lifeline and Dean Nicholson earned his side a point by converting a late penalty.
Birtley Town made a good start to the season, but are now down to 10th after they lost to Willington.
Michael Weston bagged a brace of goals with David Pinkney and Jason White also on target for the visitors. Daniel Taggart and Damon Reaks replied for Birtley in a 4-2 defeat.
South Shields took the lead through Stephen Ramsey at Alnwick Town but had to settle for a point after conceding the equaliser to Tom Truscott.
Heaton Stannington retained pole position but their lead has been cut to a single point. The Tynesiders were surprisingly held to a draw by bottom-of-the-table Ryton and Crawcrook Albion for whom Paul Basey equalised two minutes from time. The Stann had led for 80 minutes through Lee Johnson.
Northallerton are second. They saw off Thornaby 3-2 when Christian Holliday, Darren Kokes and Colin Anderson netted. Craig Winter and David Wells struck for the visitors.
Third-top West Allotment Celtic left it late at Brandon United where Shaun Reid hit the winner.
Michael Bell gave Allotment a first-minute lead but within five minutes Alex Wilson restored parity.