Easington Colliery, whose priority is to gain promotion from the Ebac Northern League Second Division, took pride of place in the second qualifying round of the Buildbase FA Vase on Saturday.
They were the underdogs against First Division Ashington, but Paul Frame’s men came up trumps to secure a memorable 2-0 win.
It was far from easy though and only a superb man-of-the-match performance by goalkeeper Kyle Donaldson saw them home.
Joe Kerridge gave his side a perfect start when he fired past Ashington keeper Connor Grant with only 13 minutes gone, but, from that point, only several top-drawer saves by Donaldson kept Easington ahead.
Then, with just a couple of minutes remaining, the home side breathed a sigh of relief as recent signing Jack Pounder beat Grant from close range for the second, decisive goal.
Ryhope CW had no such difficulties at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion. The Wearsiders were much too strong for their Second Division opponents and enjoyed a stroll in the park.
The result was effectively settled in the first half, with Ryhope 4-0 up thanks to Paul Braithwite’s opener, finishing off Davey Gordon’s cross on eight minutes, and a clinical, 21-minute hat-trick from influential midfielder Nathan O’Neill, who completed his treble with a penalty.
Although the hosts tightened up defensively in the second half, Gary Pearson’s Ryhope side still managed a fifth goal from Joe Melvin with three minutes left.
It hasn’t been easy for Chester-le-Street since their elevation to the top flight but they too went through when they edged Norton and Stockton Ancients 3-2 at Chester Moor Park.
Cameron Nichol (2) and Dominic Laws were their scorers with Nicholas Martin and Lewis Martin replying for the Teessiders.
South Shields romped to a 4-0 victory against Second Division strugglers Esh Winning, but they were kept at bay until the 34th minute.
Barrie Smith played Robert Briggs through, and he dinked the ball over goalkeeper Mark Hodgson to score his fifth goal in his last four starts.
Leepaul Scroggins, Ethan Simpson and Gavin Cogdon also notched, with Cogdon also almost scoring a goal of the season contender when he spotted the goalkeeper off his line from 40 yards and smashed an incredible effort which struck both posts before bouncing to safety.
Jarrow Roofing also won by a four-goal margin on their visit to Northallerton, where Adam Sakr (2), Paul Chow and Robbie Williamson netted.
The shock of the day was Stockton Town’s 2-0 win at four-time winners Whitley Bay, who never got to grips with their task.
Adam Nicholson and Joe Scaife-Wheatley deservedly earned Stockton progress with two second-half goals.
Dylan McEvoy, Tom Jackson (og) and Mechack Kanda steered Newcastle Benfield to a 3-0 victory over Yorkshire side Liversedge and Liam O’Sullivan’s goal was sufficient for Billingham Synthonia at Heaton Stannington.
Consett were sunk 3-1 by visitors Pickering Town, with Michael Sweet hitting a late consolation, while West Auckland lost 2-1 to Padiham, with Adam Preston bagging their consolation.
The first round proper draw is made today.