NEW-LOOK Easington Colliery made a storming start to the Wearside League programme on Saturday, although Hartlepool shot themselves in the foot by having goalkeeper Grant McIver sent off in the 28th minute.
He was adjudged to be the last man when he committed a foul and was replaced by young Rob Klerhorne, whose first task was to pick the ball out of the net after James Parkinson converted the penalty.
Bryan Norton doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time and early in the second period Pool’s Stephen Chapman wasted a spot-kick by firing wide.
When the home side were awarded a second penalty, Craig Lines reduced the deficit to 2-1, but Easington made the numerical advantage count as Norton struck twice in a minute to complete a fine hat-trick. Just before the end, Hartlepool went down to nine men as Shane O’Brien was also dismissed.
Revamped Silksworth CW were ahead at half-time courtesy of David Stephens, but Annfield Plain claimed all three points with second-half goals by Lee Mole and Liam Radbourne.
Former Northern League club Horden CW enjoyed a successful baptism when they went nap at home to Coxhoe Athletic. The turning point came when the Colliers scored twice in as many minutes, with James Huntley and Simon Todd beating visiting goalkeeper Michael Graham.
Todd made it three just before the interval, with the Huntley brothers, James and Robert, extending the advantage on the restart.
Boldon CA failed to maintain their hoodoo on Redcar Athletic, who struck three second-half goals to clinch a 4-0 victory.
Steven Barker tapped in on 27 minutes and only an outstanding save by Boldon keeper Stephen Halliday, keeping out a James Swann penalty, prevented the visitors from going further behind in the opening 45 minutes.
Boldon succumbed to further goals from James Kesterton, Alex Anderson and Richie Playforth.
Champions Stockton Town made a winning start, but were taken to the wire by Prudhoe Town who twice levelled before slipping to a 3-2 defeat.
Kai Hewitson and David Wansell, with a deflected free-kick, notched for Prudhoe, with Carlton McCabe (2) and Kallum Hannah guiding Stockton home.
Harton and Westoe had David Hopper and Jonathan Gage sent off as they crashed 4-0 at Seaton Carew, while Grant Pressling netted for Jarrow in their 1-1 home draw with Wolviston.