Easington Colliery did not top the scoring charts on Saturday, but they were well satisfied with putting seven goals past Tow Law Town in the Second Division.
There was no stopping the newly-promoted Colliers once Aidan Goodey converted a third-minute penalty. It was 4-0 by half-time, with Jordan Thompson, Luke Page and a second Goodey spot-kick doing the damage.
Easington maintained the pressure on the restart, scoring another three times, through James Parkinson, Chris Pearson and Page, for an emphatic 7-0 win – their first back in the Northern League.
Paul Frame’s side will look to make it two on the trot when they visit Billingham Town tomorrow.
Birtley Town, with one point out of a possible nine, conceded a late winner to Brandon United.
Owen Lancaster fired the visitors in front, but, after Jason White and Jack Marley turned the tables in Brandon’s favour, it looked as if Birtley had claimed a point with Mark Bailes’ equaliser.
However, with just a couple of minutes remaining, Keiran Weekes beat keeper Dominic McMahon to seal a 3-2 Brandon victory. Birtley are at Darlington RA tomorrow.
Chester-le-Street are up to fourth, equal on points with the three teams above them, following a 2-0 victory at Alnwick Town.
Michael Hepplewhite fired into an empty net in the very first minute, but it wasn’t until the 80th minute that Scott Heslop headed in the Cestrians’ clinching second goal.
Chester entertain Northallerton tomorrow.
South Shields are second-top after they hit Darlington RA for six, courtesy of Warren Byrne (2), David Foley, Michael Turner, Lee McMahon and Joe Melvin.
Northallerton were the biggest scorers of the day, hitting back from two goals down to thump Stokesley SC 8-2, with seven second-half strikes.
Esh Winning succumbed to Billingham Town, whose match-winners in a 3-0 win were Jamie Bellamy, Callum Crocker and Jonathan Bolton.
Dean Thexton’s brace proved crucial in Willington’s 2-1 victory against Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, for whom Ryan Burnyeat replied.