COXHOE Athletic had to play 55-year-old Paul Ord in goal on Saturday and although the veteran denied Easington Colliery for almost the entire first half, he was eventually beaten seven times in the Wearside League clash.
It took the Colliers 41 minutes to break down a resilient home defence. Shaun French struck a good volley over the head of Ord and thereafter the floodgates opened.
Man-of-the-match David Paul bagged a brace and although Ryan Kiteley threw Coxhoe a glimmer of hope when he headed in on 67 minutes, Easington quickly regained the initiative.
Paul took his personal tally to four and the woes of Coxhoe were compounded by late goals from Dale Spence and Rhys Weir.
Easington are now up to mid-table and neighbours Horden CW joined the top six with a 3-0 home victory over Sunderland West End.
Robert Taylor gave his side a perfect start with a sixth-minute goal, but it wasn’t until the 70th minute that West End conceded again to Taylor.
Any hopes Andy Nelson’s side harboured of saving the game ended when Andrew Lonsdale scored Horden’s third goal with a fine solo effort a minute from time.
Ryhope CW’s fixture at Annfield Plain was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch and their lead over Stockton Town is now a mere two points.
Stockton hit Richmond Town for six although the Yorkshiremen enjoyed the satisfaction of being the first team in seven games to score against the championship challengers.
First-half goals by Kallum Hannah (penalty) and James Ward had Stockton comfortable, but when Scott Guy cut the deficit midway through the second period, it was all to play for.
Stockton stepped up a gear and the goals flowed from Ward, Stephen Roberts and Matthew Garbutt before Michael Layfield hit a second for Richmond, who then leaked a sixth to Scott Meehan. His corner kick deceived everyone on its way into the net.
Cleator Moor Celtic and Redcar Athletic are battling it out for third spot.
The Cumbrians maintained a one-point lead over their rivals but were taken to the wire by bottom-of-the-table Hartlepool in a 2-1 win. Craig Corkhill and Leigh Dunn notched, with captain Shane O’Brien replying.
After establishing a two-goal lead courtesy of Keiran Stares and Adam Preston, Redcar Athletic just edged a 3-2 win at Jarrow.
Jarrow scored twice in as many minutes to level, as Peter Kane headed in a corner and David Conroy fired home the equaliser. But Stares struck Redcar’s second-half winner.
The remaining three games were drawn. In the South Tyneside derby, Adam Sharpe scored both goals when Boldon CA and Harton and Westoe CW finished 1-1.
After 38 minutes, he gave Harton the lead, but Sharpe then headed into his own goal for the leveller when put under pressure by Brodie Simpson.
Dean Pearce gave Prudhoe a 70th-minute lead at Leam Rangers, but Johnny Barrett deflected a shot into his own net for the home equaliser.
Both teams ended with 10 men when Seaton Carew and Wolviston drew 2-2. David Johnson and Daryl Tomlinson opened and closed the scoring for the visitors, with Mattie Kelsey and Luke Naylor (penalty) responding. Seaton had Craig Garthwaite sent off on 50 minutes and Wolviston’s Andrew McGirr was red-carded 13 minutes later.