CHESTER-le-Street withstood intense first-half pressure to claim all three points from last night’s Ebac Northern League Second Division game at Heaton Stannington.
The Cestrians led with a ninth-minute Scott Heslop strike and when they came more into the picture as an attacking force in the second period, they were rewarded with a second goal from Heslop, who beat 16-year-old Daniel Rule in the Heaton goal to clinch a fine 2-0 victory.
Birtley Town enjoyed a 4-1 romp at Esh Winning, who have already conceded 25 goals in just four games.
Star of the night was Anthony Ward, who rifled a hat-trick, with Matthew Soulsby adding to the woes of Esh, whose only reply was credited to Karl Turner.
Brandon United went down 1-0 to Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, with Will Forsyth netting, while Willington and Whickham served up an entertaining 0-0 draw.
South Shields led courtesy of David Molloy, but Northallerton took the points with strikes by Aaron Ramsbottom and Colin Anderson (penalty).
In Division One, much-fancied Shildon were lucky to claim an added time equaliser by Danny Moore at home to Morpeth Town, who led through Michael Chilton from the 34th minute.
Ryan Carr and Gareth Bainbridge eased North Shields home against Billingham Synthonia, while Bedlington Terriers won 2-1 at Newton Aycliffe, thanks to Adam Harvey and Paul Watson (penalty). Adrian Webster replied late on.
West Allotment Celtic will visit Knaresborough Town in the preliminary round of the FA Cup after defeating Hebburn Town 2-0 in their replay. Mark Fenwick and unlucky Hebburn goalkeeper Gary Rogers, who conceded an own goal, saw Celtic home.