Easington Colliery suffered late heartbreak as they succumbed to a winner from Second Division leaders Team Northumbria three minutes into stoppage time on Saturday.
Easington had chances in a goalless first half, but they fell behind four minutes into the second half as they failed to cope with an inswinging corner and Scott Gunn netted from close range.
Peter Jones cleared an effort off the line to keep Easington in the game, and they deservedly equalised on 70 minutes, when David Paul flicked on Reece Kenney’s cross and Jack Pounder marked his return to the team with a smart finish.
Easington looked good for a second 1-1 draw against the table-toppers, but, deep in added time, they were sunk as Aidan Heywood drove home the home winner, after the visitors failed to clear a corner.
Durham City went down 3-1 to Blyth Town at Consett, after going ahead with Daniel O’Reilly’s seventh-minute strike.
Gary Day equalised before Blyth went ahead with a breakaway goal with six minutes remaining, Malcolm Morien slipping the ball under the keeper. Two minutes later, Morien repeated the trick to kill off City and move Blyth above their hosts into sixth place.
Billingham Synthonia ground out another 1-0 away victory, at Alnwick Town, with the ever-reliable Macauley Langstaf firing the only goal on 35 minutes.
That moved the Synners into second place, as Stockton Town could only draw 4-4 at lowly Ryton & Crawcrook Albion, despite leading 3-0 and 4-1.
Sonni Coleman, Thomas Coulthard and Max Craggs gave the visitors a 3-0 lead, but Sam Moore pulled one back. Coleman’s second looked to have sealed the deal for Stockton on 58 minutes.
However, Liam Anderson and Luke Watson reduced the arrears to 4-3 and, in the last minute, Callum Turnbull headed in a dramatic equaliser, boosting Ryton’s fight against relegation.
Fourth-top Billingham Town are seven points behind Stockton, with a game in hand, after a comprehensive 4-1 home win over neighbours Thornaby.
Prolific Craig Hutchinson scored a hat-trick, including two from the penalty spot, and Elliott Beddow added their other goal. Gary Mitchell netted for Thornaby, who are just two points above the relegation zone.
Brandon United and Crook Town played out a 2-2 draw.
The home side went in front with a Kyle Wren 30-yarder, on the half hour, but Crook equalised with an own goal, following a goalmouth scramble.
Daniel Quine finished well to restore United’s advantage, but, with just two minutes left, Crook rescued a point with a low Daniel Pigg strike.
Willington are just four points above the drop zone after this 3-0 home defeat to in-form Heaton Stannington.
Jonathan Light, Dean Imray and Josh Holmes netted for the fifth-top Tynesiders.
Darlington RA are just two points from safety after a narrow 1-0 home win over Bedlington Terriers, Andrew Lonsdale scoring the winner from an acute angle following a corner.
Mark Fitzpatrick’s hat-trick, started by a fourth-minute opener, helped Whickham crush depleted Hebburn Town 7-0.
Ross Nicholson (2), David Clasper and John Martin also notched.