EASINGTON Colliery made a reasonable start when they returned to the STL Northern League Second Division, but they are now bottom of the table after losing to fifth-from-basement Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.
The Colliers made the worst possible start conceding a goal in the first minute to Shaun Reid and Andrew Dobbie doubled Ryton’s lead in the 15th minute.
Easington improved but it was all over for them on 72 minutes as Mark Eccles converted a penalty.
Horden CW celebrated moving off the basement for the first time in several weeks.
Manager Brian Honour described the game at Whitehaven to be of major importance and he must have feared the worst when Greg Quaill fired past Tom Orton at the near post.
But Honour has claimed all season that his players are fighters and two goals in as many minutes from Stephen Jackson and Daniel Reeves earned the side a crucial win which lifted them to third from bottom, marginally ahead of Whitehaven.
Until recently, Seaham Red Star were in the doldrums, but they are up to sixth from bottom after producing one of the shock results of the season, defeating leaders Team Northumbria.
The only goal came on 50 minutes when Daniel Critchlow went past three defenders and fired wide of goalkeeper Andrew Jennison.
Washington gained a welcome point at home to Cleator Moor Celtic. Jonathan Ball deflected the ball into his own net on the hour and five minutes later Celtic’s Ian Dunn levelled with a direct free kick.
Chester-le-Street went down by the odd goal in five at Morpeth Town and are now fourth from the bottom.
David Histle, Michael Hall and Michael Robinson struck for the Northumbrians with Paul Wardle and Scott Swanson replying.
Tony Healer marked his seasonal debut for Birtley Town with a goal but Darlington RA were the winners with two penalties from Graeme Whitehead and a last-minute strike by Stephen Allinson.
Team Northumbria’s lead at the top has been trimmed to six points by in-form Esh Winning who romped to victory at Brandon United.
Craig Nichol, with a hat-trick, Craig Coates, Darren Kokes and Luke Wilson had Esh six goals ahead before Mark Costello scored a consolation goal from the penalty spot.
North Shields, who narrowly missed out on promotion last season, are third following victory over Northallerton Town courtesy of Paul Gordon and Dean Holmes.
In a reduced Division One programme, South Shields moved further away from the relegation zone with victory over Bishop Auckland at Filtrona Park.
Andrew Barclay headed the Mariners into an early lead and Lee Bell doubled the advantage before Andrew Johnson replied for Bishops deep into stoppage time.
Last mid-week, Guisborough Town produced one of the shock results of the season when they defeated Spennymoor Town and they also took another step towards safety, with victory over Jarrow Roofing.
Michael Roberts and Chris I’Anson (2) had them three goals in front before Peter Kane threw Roofing a lifeline but despite being under considerable pressure during the second half, Guisborough held on.
Stokesley SC are rock bottom and have now conceded 100 goals in 21 games after leaking four at Penrith whose marksmen were Martin Coleman (2), Adam Gill and Grant Davidson.
Tow Law Town are second from the basement and they gained a valuable point at top-six side Newton Aycliffe where they led through Ian Davison until Elliott Gardner equalised on 86 minutes.
Chris Hughes was an early striker for Shildon but Marske United clinched victory courtesy of Paul Charlton and Benn Thompson.