ASHBROOKE Belford House’s Wearside League Cup tie at Coxhoe Athletic produced an eight-goal thriller and the outcome was only decided by a penalty shoot-out.
Tommy Dobbing’s side appeared to be coasting home when they led through Mark Green (2) and Luke Richardson inside the opening half hour.
But the home side staged a fantastic rally to take a 4-3 lead with goals by Chris Baxter (2), Kyle Scott and Philip Best.
In the second period of extra time, Kenny Taylor levelled, but the drama was far from over and it took seven penalties before Belford emerged as 4-3 winners.
Sunderland West End went out to Cleator Moor Celtic despite leading through David Keithley, who drove past goalkeeper Craig Devine in the 30th minute.
The Wearsiders held onto the lead until the 70th minute when Bradley Rooney levelled. Four minutes later he was again on target, this time from the penalty spot.
West End pushed forward in search of an equaliser but left the way open for Ryan Hall to cement the Cumbrians’ victory with a late third goal.
Jarrow succumbed to Stockton Town, for whom Tony Johnson completed a neat move in the 21st minute, beating goalkeeper Lee Burrell from a tight angle.
There was little between the sides, but seven minutes from the end Jarrow’s hopes faded as Kallum Hannah converted a penalty.
Richmond Town progressed at the expense of Redcar Athletic following a hard-fought, exciting game. The only goal came in the 12th minute when Liam Darville beat Redcar goalkeeper Dan Lynas from 10 yards.
Four of the top five sides were on cup duty and Willington took advantage to move back into pole position in the league.
It was a close call, though, at Easington Colliery who battled all the way and were unlucky not to take something from the game, which was decided by a third-minute goal.
Willington were awarded a penalty for a handling offence and Paul Bayles beat Colliers’ goalkeeper Damien Potts from the spot.
At the other end of the table, Silks-worth Rangers remain bottom. After losing to Harton and Westoe CW, they only have seven points from 24 games but are just five behind Annfield Plain as the two sides battle to avoid becoming wooden spoonists.
Ray Oshin bagged a brace of goals for Harton before Simon French threw Rangers a lifeline on 85 minutes. Within a minute, however, Harton’s two-goal cushion was restored by Shaun Edwards.
Peterlee Town enjoyed a 4-1 romp against Hartlepool. Brett Gillatt scored twice in the opening 35 minutes with two excellent strikes and, early in the second period, Martin Hope converted a penalty, awarded for a foul on Gillatt.
Anthony Rogerson then struck from a tremendous pass by Nick Doyle before Pool claimed a late consolation with an Aaron Hopper penalty.
A late spot-kick by David Wilson eased the pressure on Seaton Carew, who had to withstand a late rally by Darlington Cleveland Bridge.
Craig Hutchinson netted at the second attempt for Seaton in the eighth minute before Daniel McLachlan restored parity four minutes into the second period. Neil Fannon delivered a good finish to give Seaton the lead for a second time, but even so it was all to play for until David Wilson struck home an 82nd-minute penalty.
Leam Rangers led Boldon CA for a long period after Anthony Thompson intercepted a badly-directed back-pass to score, but, in the second half, Adam Sharp headed in the equaliser.
Because Derwent Park was unplayable, Annfield Plain’s fixture with Wolviston was switched to Metcalfe Park and it was the home side who won comfortably to ease their fears at the bottom. Ian Danby (2) and Ryan Foster were the matchwinners and Wolviston, third-from-bottom, are now nine points ahead of the Plain.