Easington Colliery’s Second Division promotion hopes suffered a big setback on Saturday when they were hammered 6-0 at Northallerton Town.
Two headed goals from Daniel Jones, in the 25th and 27th minutes, followed by a Nicky Martin volley on 44 minutes, had Northallerton 3-0 in front at half-time.
It was much the same in the second half, when further goals from Mark Sims, Shaun Hudson and then Martin’s second of the game, completed the rout.
Paul Frame’s side are now nine points adrift of the third promotion place.
Durham City kept in touch with the promotion pack, with a 5-3 home win over neighbours Brandon United at Consett.
United scored first through Dan Quine, after 28 minutes, but City rallied impressively to score three times in as many minutes, through Bradley Hird’s brace and a Jeremy Allen header.
Brandon replied through a Quine volley on 63 minutes, only for Hird to complete a smashing hat-trick, for a 4-2 lead. five minutes later.
Brandon did not give up and pulled another goal back on 76 minutes, with Steven Turnbull netting, but the game was won in the 82nd minute, when City’s Kieran Harnett scored with a tap-in, after his initial header was saved.
Esh Winning are certainly giving themselves a chance to avoid relegation, moving off the bottom with a 4-2 home victory over Darlington RA, who now sit at the foot of the table, on goal difference.
However, RA had the perfect start, going 1-0 up in the first minute, when Chris Tarn tapped home. Esh equalised five minutes later, through Joseph Currie, and went ahead in the ninth minute, when Andrew Clarkson curled a great shot into the net.
Callum Boakes beat the offside trap to make it 3-1 on 44 minutes, and the game looked all over when Mark Dale smashed home a fourth from the edge of the box.
Darlington scored a late consolation, courtesy of Daniel Pigg, but they still dropped to bottom spot.
Billingham Synthonia stayed third, thanks to a 2-1 win at Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.
The Synners went in front after 31 minutes, Joshua Rowbotham rounding the keeper to score. Conor Winter made it 2-0 when he headed home in the 52nd minute.
Ryan Bell’s looping shot on 75 minutes reduced the arrears, but Synners held on for three crucial points.
Billingham Town are right in the mix in fourth place, with games in hand on the top three teams.
They impressively beat promotion rivals Blyth Town 4-1 at home.
Chris Dickinson’s fine shot opened the scoring on 10 minutes, but Blyth equalised 12 minutes later, following a fumble by keeper Thomas Dawson, as Zak Atkinson pounced to make it 1-1.
Dickinson restored the lead on 38 minutes, when his shot hit both posts before going in.
Two late goals sealed the win. Sub Jamie Davis scored in the 85th minute, with a superb 25-yard free-kick, and, in the last minute, ever-lively frontman Craig Hutchinson made it 4-1.
Michael Watson’s strike earned Hebburn Town a 1-1 draw at leaders Stockton Town, who had Tony Johnson on target.
Team Northumbria joined Stockton on 63 points, but behind on goal difference, after a 3-0 victory at Whickham, thanks to strikes from Joel Bradley, Adam Chrostowski and Nick Hay.
Willington’s derby at Crook Town was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.