Sunderland RCA claimed the Wearside bragging rights with a 2-1 victory over Washington in Saturday’s Division One derby at the Nissan Sports Complex.
There were chances for both teams in a fast and furious start. Chris Winn’s spectacular overhead kick just cleared the RCA bar and, at the other end, Clayton Davis brought a good save from Jonathan Carmichael.
The goalkeeper had to concede a corner on 30 minutes, denying first Michael Charlton and then Andrew Brown.
But, from the flag-kick, Martin Swales’ men took the lead as Nathan Cummings found the net in a goalmouth scramble.
With 16 minutes remaining, the Mechanics drew level. John Butler was brought down and skipper Mark Davison made no mistake from the spot.
A frenetic finale ensured and RCA took the points with an 85th-minute winner by Johnny Wightman, who showed great skill beating his marker before driving the ball into the net.
Seaham Red Star are seventh, just a point and one place behind Washington, although they have played seven more games.
Star heaped more problems on Whitley Bay manager Ian Chandler as goals from Lee Kerr and Paul Gardiner in the opening 14 minutes proved sufficient for a 2-0 win at Hillheads.
Whitley are third bottom, ahead of basement side Norton and Stockton Ancients and Bedlington Terriers.
Norton have a lot to do if they are to escape the drop, especially after conceding five times to third-placed Marske United, whose marksmen were Jamie Owens (2), Adam Preston, Nathan Mulligan and Danny Brunskill. Marcus Laing and Ryu Williamson replied.
Bedlington were unlucky not to take something out of their game with Penrith, who won by the odd goal in five.
Following Jonathan Wright’s first-minute strike for Terriers, it was one-way traffic and against the run of play when the Cumbrians scored twice through Kevin Connolly and Jonathan Murray just before the interval.
The battling Terriers deservedly levelled through Marcus Brown but then suffered a double blow.
Paul King was sent off and Connolly hit the resulying free-kick past the wall and goalkeeper Liam Mooney, who was rooted on his line.
Durham City were without a fixture and remain fourth-bottom, just a point outside the drop zone, but Jarrow Roofing improved their chances of staying up by defeating West Auckland in a seven-goal thriller.
Fortunes ebbed and flowed throughout, but a Paul Chow hat-trick and one goal by James Fairley saw Richie McLoughlin’s side to a crucial 4-3 win. Adam Burnicle scored all three goals for West, who led 3-1 at one point.
West Allotment Celtic are the other side in the bottom six. They were well beaten at Ashington, who arrested a long losing sequence. Lee Scott, James Taylor, Andy Bulford and James Harmison steered Ashington home 4-1, with Ben Bradley replying.
At the top, Shildon’s game at North Shields was the postponed but they are still 13 points ahead of Guisborough Town, who lost 2-0 to Bishop Auckland, for whom Andrew Johnson scored both goals.
Marske United are third and Newton Aycliffe fourth, but their title hopes received an unexpected setback at Newcastle Benfield, who won 2-1 thanks to Kieran Wrightson and Lewis Scorgie. Zak Boagey had levelled.
Consett played most of the game with Dunston UTS with 10 men and ended with only nine on the field.
After Steven Richardson had given the Tynesiders a fifth-minute lead, the Steelmen had Luke Sullivan red-carded after only 11 minutes.
Malcolm Morien made it 2-0 on 66 minutes before the home side suffered a double blow five minutes from time as Joe Grant was also sent off and Morien converted the resulting penalty for a 3-0 win.