Mill View SC came from behind to claim a 2-1 home Second Division success against Northumberland team The Milbourne Arms.
Both sides opened in attacking mode, but Milbourne made the breakthrough early on, when a luckless defender diverted a shot into his own goal.
Mill View, though, deservedly levelled when Clifton Thompson lobbed the advancing keeper after a fine through ball from Anthony Lavery.
Milbourne started the second half on the attack, but Mill’s defence restricted them to long-range efforts.
The Wearsiders were always dangerous on the break, especially with the pace of Lavery and Thompson, and the two combined again when Thompson swept home Lavery’s cross.
Milbourne dominated the rest of the game, but Mill’s defence held firm to see out the 2-1 win, ably marshalled by the outstanding Dave Naughton.
Horden Sportsmans lost 2-0 at leaders Blakelaw SC, while Peterlee Helford rocked high-flying Pelton Crown by battling for a 3-3 draw.
Durham Stonebridge fell five points adrift of the promotion places after a 4-2 reverse at relegation-threatened South Shields Catholic Club.
Darsley Park claimed a 1-0 win at Hartlepool Catholic Club, scoring midway through the second half.
Willow Pond ended Oddies’ rejuvenation in Division Three with a hotly-contested 2-1 derby victory.
After a minute’s silence for Jason Hodgson, Willow started the better, giving Oddies no time to settle.
David Kelly went on a mazy run after a defensive mix-up, and his vicious shot hit the post, with Oddies keeper Deano Franciosy beaten.
Oddies reply with a free-kick easily held by keeper John Davis, who was rarely troubled.
Willow piled on the pressure, with Gary Golightly closing down Oddies star man Kevin Knapp, and the ball broke for James Briant, whose low, first-time shot screamed into the far corner of the net, giving the keeper no chance.
Willow doubled their lead from the penalty spot early in the second half, with Golightly sending Franciosy the wrong way.
But Oddies were soon back into it. Mark Wood’s back pass put his defence under pressure and Lee Brown conceded a penalty with a foul, with Ian Livingston converting to make it 2-1.
Star man Brian Adamson won everything in midfield, in the air and on the ground to keep Willow on top, and they should have added a third goal, only for Kit Tipling to blaze over after good work from Kelly and Briant.
Oddies had a penalty shout waved away after a scramble in the box, then defender Dave Jenkins shot wide when the goal was at his mercy. Franciosy had to be alert to tip Briant’s shot around the post as Willow ended on top.
Rolls-Royce went down 3-1 at Redcar Old Boys, while Washington JFC Biddick Inn were beaten 2-0 by visitors Wingate Cons.
Houghton Cricket picked up a welcome point in their survival fight, drawing 3-3 at fifth-top Woodhorn Lane, while Durham County Strollers cruised to a 7-1 success at Shildon Grey Horse.
Ivy Legends kept up their promotion push in Division Four, but they were made to graft hard for a 2-1 win over lowly neighbours Colonel Prior.
Ivy stayed third, six points behind leaders Roseberry Grange, who beat Hartlepool Vets 2-0. Vets had a man sent off after just 10 minutes, shooting themselves in the foot as they slipped from second place to fourth with the loss.
Wearmouth Old Boys bagged their fourth win of the season, defeating Hartlepool Tech 3-1, while Durham County won 2-0 at Boldon Colliery Tavern and bottom club Trimdon Vets lost 2-0 to Heighington Bay Horse.
Penshaw Catholic Club came out on top in a highly competitive Premier Division match against local rivals Washington Victoria Inn.
Stuart Archbold scored the only goal when his driven shot from just inside the area deflected in off a packed Washington defence into the net.
The victory moved Penshaw up to fourth place.
Ryhope Foresters maintained their impressive campaign by winning 4-3 in a thriller at lowly Wallsend Community to consolidate second place.
They are three points clear of Hartlepool Touchdown, who were held to a 2-2 draw at Red House WMC.
The Wearsiders stormed into a 2-0 lead, scoring from a corner and a long-range strike, though Touchdown, to their credit, battled back for a point.
Grindon Broadway secured a second successive First Division victory, 2-1 away to St Mary’s College.
Saints fielded five new players, signed from Premier team Billingham Swan, who have resigned.
And they made a bright start as Aspery scored after just 10 minutes, but Grindon increased the tempo in the second half and quickly levelled, courtesy of Richie Bland. Grindon took over and dominated the remainder of the game, clinching the points in the dying seconds when Paul Griffiths notched.
Hylton CW moved top thanks to a 2-0 win over Consett, their 11th of the season.
Previous leaders Hartlepool Gillen Arms were held to a 0-0 draw by visitors Dormans, who sit in fifth place.
Incredibly, the top 10 are separated by just 12 points, so the promotion race promises to be wide open and entertaining all the way.
Easington CIU handed out a 5-0 beating to hosts Seaham Marlborough to retain third place, just ahead of Ferryhill Greyhound, who ran out 6-0 winners at Coxhoe Red Lion.
South Shields leapfrogged Dubmire into sixth place after beating the Fencehouses side 4-2, while Thornley Celtic rose to ninth on the back of a 2-0 victory over Whitley Bay Seahorse.