Chester-le-Street moved to the top of the Second Division with last night’s exciting 4-3 win over neighbours Birtley Town.
Craig Marron fired them in front from the penalty spot, but Birtley turned the tables and went ahead courtesy of strikes from Owen Lancaster and Dan Maddison.
The Cestrians then scored three times in just six minutes, with Scott Heslop, Kevin Dixon and Tony Healer all beating home goalkeeper Dan McMahon.
Michael Gray reduced the deficit to just a single goal to set up a frenetic final five minutes, but Colin Wake’s side held on to leap-frog Team Northumbria, Darlington RA and South Shields into pole positon.
The sides again meet at Birtley on Saturday in the FA Carlsberg Vase.
Bishop Auckland remain second bottom in the First Division after losing 2-0 to Newton Aycliffe at Heritage Park. Alex Kitchen and Brian Close were the scorers.
Bishops’ Arjun Purewal was red-carded on 16 minutes, while Aycliffe’s Ashley Coffey was sent off in the 34th minute.