TWICE behind, Sunderland West End came within a whisker of claiming all three points in last night’s thrilling Wearside League game against Leam Rangers at the Hilltop ground.
Craig Hall was an early marksman for the hosts and after Barry Turton headed in the equaliser, Anth Huddart gave West End goalkeeper Scott Young no chance with a clinical finish.
Right on the stroke of half-time, West End’s Johnny Greener restored parity with a good individual goal and immediately on resuming, Anth Nelson’s side went in front as Turton struck his second goal of the night.
Three minutes later, Leam had Liam Jobson Cook sent off and, in a dramatic finale, another two players were red-carded.
The visitors’ David Keithley was dismissed for a handling offence which resulted in Rangers being awarded a penalty and Michael McCaffery converted for a 92nd-minute equaliser. Immediately after, Leam’s Leon Kane was dismissed, leaving the Tynesiders to play out the last few seconds with nine men.
Easington Colliery made it two wins out of two when they edged Silksworth CW by the only goal.
Colliers’ manager Paul Frame was forced into making two substitutions inside the opening 20 minutes following injuries to Jay Martin and Liam Wintrip.
Silksworth had the opportunity to take the lead when Rob Hall was brought down inside the box. Hall took the penalty but was denied by a good save from goalkeeper Kyle Donaldson.
Early in the second period, the deadlock was broken as David Paul set up Dale Spencem who beat two defenders before firing past visiting goalkeeper Michael Smith.
Ashbrooke Belford House have claimed maximum points from their first two games after seeing off a strong challenge from Horden CW at Silksworth.
Kevin Gordon struck on 45 minutes and Jonny Wightman made it two midway through the second period, but Andrew Bowes ensured a tense finale. The hosts, though, held on for a 2-1 win.
A man-of-the-match performance by Michael Woodhouse swept Redcar Athletic to a 4-0 victory over Jarrow. The marksman struck three times in the space of four second-half minutes and later Jamie Lee added to the woes of the South Tynesiders, who have lost their first two games.
A brace from Peter Brown in the opening 16 minutes set up Coxhoe Athletic for a 2-1 victory at home to Boldon CA, for whom Andy Hall halved the deficit right on half-time.
Newcomers Whitehaven, determined to return to the Ebac Northern League Second Division at the earliest opportunity, made it 10 goals in two games when they hammered Harton and Westoe 5-0.
Kevin Connolly (2), Greg Quayle, Jack Hunter and Barry Armfield were their marksmen.
Rival Cumbrians Cleator Moor Celtic edged past Prudhoe Town 2-1, thanks to Adam Meagan and Leigh Dunn. Lee Blackburn rallied Prudhoe when he crashed the ball into the net from a direct free kick.
Craig Lines, Danny Maughan and Shane O’Brien led Hartlepool to a 3-1 success at home to Wolviston, for whom Graeme Brown replied.
Stockton Town, aiming for a third consecutive championship, have scored 14 goals in their opening two matches. They went nap at home to Seaton Carew, courtesy of Chris Stockton, with a hat-trick, Stephen Roberts and Tony Johnson. Andrew Ross equalised for the Seasiders earlier in the game.
Matthew Bateson (2) and Javah Asimba were Richmond Town’s matchwinners in a 3-0 success at Annfield Plain.