New signing Julio Arca was at Mariners Park on Saturday but wasn’t involved for South Shields in their shock Second Division defeat to Easington Colliery.
A bumper crowd of 642 did see another former Sunderland player Ryan Noble take part, following his signing from Sunderland RCA, but he couldn’t prevent his new side from suffering a 2-1 defeat.
David Paul rounded goalkeeper Gareth Young and fired the newly-promoted Colliers into a first-half lead before Noble won a 49th minute penalty, which Warren Byrne drove past keeper Kyle Donaldson.
With time running out, a draw looked the likely outcome, but Paul Frame’s side emerged victors and Paul Wintrip found the net with a curling effort from 25 yards out for a brilliant Easington winner.
Had the Mariners won, they would have leapfrogged Chester-le-Street into pole position.
In the only other Second Division game, Stokesley SC suffered another heavy defeat, 4-0 to Tow Law Town, whose marksmen were Jeremy Paylor, Chris Mordue, Ethan Payne and Kyle Hudson. Stokesley, still pointless, have now conceded 42 goals in eight games.
In Division One, Sunderland RCA suffered a fourth defeat in seven outings when they were beaten 4-1 by Bishop Auckland at Heritage Park.
David Palmer and Andrew Johnson had the hosts two goals ahead inside 18 minutes and when Johnson struck again with a fine individual effort on the hour mark, Martin Swales’ side were left with a mountain to climb.
They never seriously threatened, but, a minute from the end, Callum Hope claimed a consolation goal. Almost immediately however, Palmer was again on target.
RCA will look to bounce back when they host Ashington tomorrow.
Shildon extended their lead at the top to four points when they made it six wins in seven games, defeating West Allotment Celtic 5-0.
Mark Doninger’s brace had the home side comfortable, but Allotment dug in during the second half, forcing several corners.
In the last 10 minutes, however, they wilted and Shildon struck three times through Lewis Wing (2) and Kyle Fryatt.
Morpeth Town and Washington – who were both on FA Carlsberg Vase duty – remain second and third, respectively and Guisborough Town climbed into fourth place with a 2-1 victory over Consett.
Michael Sweet maintained his good form for the Steelmen with a first-half opener, but Stephen Snaith and Connor Smith turned it around.
Jarrow Roofing walloped Newton Aycliffe 6-2 as the goals flowed from man of the match Lewis Teasdale (4), Alex White and John Campbell (pen). Jordan Laidler and Stuart Banks scored within a minute to give Aycliffe a 2-1 lead at one stage.
Ben Richardson, Dan Wilson and Dean Holmes swept North Shields to a 3-0 win at Bedlington, while reigning champions Marske United edged Newcastle Benfield 2-1 thanks to strikes by Craig Gott (pen) and Chris Emms after trailing early on.