SEAHAM Red Star consolidated third place in Ebac Northern League Division Two and are only three points behind leaders North Shields and one adrift of Heaton Stannington.
Mark Collingwood’s side, though, were taken to the wire away to bottom club Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.
Michael McKeown’s fine, diving header from a Shaun Reay corner on 66 minutes was all that separated the sides.
Jamie Clarke and Josh Allan both had goals disallowed.
North Shields moved top when John Parker hit a last-gasp winner against South Shields. Gareth Bainbridge (2) and Kevin Hughes netted for the Robins in a 4-3 success, with Stephen Ramsey, Adam Burnicle and Dan Hindmarsh striking for the Mariners, who had goalkeeper Jak Wells sent off when they led 2-1.
Washington are back in the bottom three after going down 3-2 to fourth-placed West Allotment Celtic, who went three up courtesy of Shaun Reid (2) and Stephen Little.
With 11 minutes left, Michael Coughlan reduced the deficit and Paul Kane gave the Newtowners a glimmer of hope a minute from time, but the Tynesiders held on.
Birtley Town dominated for long periods but still lost 1-0 to Norton, for whom Rocky Andrews converted a fourth-minute penalty.
Esh Winning remain second-bottom despite winning 2-1 at Stokesley SC with goals from Shaun Smith and Luke Thompson.
Brandon United moved out of the bottom three when they gave a good performance in holding second-top Heaton Stannington to a draw. Andrew Blackburn fired the hosts in front, but Heaton’s Lee Johnson levelled.
Chester-le-Street bowed out of the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup when visitors Thornaby won 3-2 in extra time.
John Honour and Michael Roberts cancelled out a brace by Thornaby’s Lee Bythway, but Gerard Livingstone was the Teessiders’ match-winner.
Two players were sent off in an eventful First Division game between Guisborough Town and Durham City.
Danny Johnson gave the hosts an early lead, in off the bar, before Durham’s Ian Ward was dismissed for a challenge. Despite their numerical disadvantage, Craig Ellison levelled following a quickly taken free-kick.
The game erupted again after 50 minutes when Guisbrough scorer Johnson was shown a straight red card for a foul on City keeper James Winter, who sustained a broken leg. The game ended 1-1, with the point enabling City to retain a top-six place.
Bishop Auckland hit second-bottom Billingham Town for six as the goals flowed from former Ryhope CW striker John Butler, who was in unstoppable form, rifling a hat-trick and going close to doubling his tally.
Alan Cossavella (own goal), Keiran Megran and Jeff Smith also netted.
Hebburn Town made second-top Celtic Nation work hard for their 2-0 victory, with Willie Gibson and Mickey Rae on target.
Mark Fenwick bagged a late reply for Team Northumbria in their 2-1 loss to Penrith, whitle Consett beat Bedlington Terriers with an Aristote Guerin-Lokonga goal.