Neil Hixon could hardly have wished for a better outcome when he took sole charge of Washington for the first time in Saturday’s Ebac Northern League First Division game against West Auckland.
The former Sunderland RCA boss – who had been part of the managerial team – was appointed manager when Steve Hutchinson left at the end of last week.
And he must have been ecstatic as he watched the Mechanics inflict a nine-goal rout on his hapless opponents. From the moment Mark Davison broke the deadlock with a 20-yard free kick, it was one-way traffic, yet only three players shared in the goals rush.
Matty Waters led the scoring charts as he plundered four goals, including three in five second-half minutes just before the hour mark.
Davison completed a hat-trick, with goals in the 16th, 29th and 45th minutes, and Gary Shaw bagged a brace in the final 20 minutes.
After the match, West manager Andy Campbell and assistant Richie Storr stepped down, with Mark Hudson taking interim control of the bottom club.
Nine goals were also scored at West Allotment Celtic, where Ryhope CW claimed the points by scoring six of them.
There was no indication at the halfway stage, though, of the goal avalanche to follow.
James Ellis had given the Wearsiders a first-minute lead and seven minutes later Stephen Young equalised.
The pivotal moment came early in the second period when Ryhope goalkeeper Chris Rookes saved a penalty from Young.
Gary Pearson’s men celebrated their luck and went 3-1 up courtesy of summer signings Joe Melvin and Ellis, but, for a second time, Allotment battled back and restored parity with strikes by Jordan Miller and Young.
At 3-3 and with 13 minutes remaining, it was all to play for and Ryhope came out on top as they scored three times in the final five minutes, through hat-trick hero Ellis, Nathan O’Neil and Simon Ord, to make it successive away victories.
Seaham Red Star were also in scoring mode and they went nap at home to Chester-le-Street, who remain second-bottom with just four points out of a possible 30.
Just as worrying is the fact the newly-promoted Cestrians have now conceded 35 goals in just 10 games.
They could have taken the lead at Seaham, but goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook dived the right way to save a penalty from Michael Hepplewhite.
Robbie Bird broke the deadlock after being played in behind the visitors’ defence.
Red Star, under Chris McCabe’s command for the first time, then romped to a 5-0 victory with four more goals.
Paul Gardiner notched twice, then Craig Lynch outpaced two markers to make it 4-0, via the post, before Tom Price also struck, in off the post, to complete the rout.
In contrast, neither Sunderland RCA nor North Shields managed a goal between them when they met in an entertaining top-five clash at Meadow Park.
RCA keeper Neal Bussey saved from Gareth Bainbridge and Lee Mason, while, at the other end, Liam McBryde went close to breaking the deadlock.
Former Seaham Red Star boss Mark Collingwood has linked up with Richie McLoughlin at Jarrow Roofing and the pair celebrated as their side defeated Guisborough Town 3-1.
Michael Mackay and Kerry Hedley had them comfortably in front, but when Thibault Charmey halved the deficit, it was all to play for.
Charmey had two chances to equalise, but Paul Chow came up trumps, heading in Roofing’s crucial third goal.
Gavin Cogdon opened the scoring on 76 minutes and it appeared his goal would secure all three points for South Shields in front of a 1,166 crowd – but, with only a couple of minutes left, Newcastle Benfield’s Mechack Kanda levelled.
Martyn Coleman (2), Andrew Murray-Jones and Richard Faustino were the marksmen in Penrith’s 4-3 win at Newton Aycliffe, who were two up thanks to Dennis Knight.
The Cumbrians turned the tables and led 3-2 before John Campbell levelled for Aycliffe, only for Coleman’s second strike to seal victory.
Ryan Keltie and Nathan Mulligan (own goal) established a two-goal advantage for Whitley Bay, but Marske United hit back for a 2-2 draw when Danny Earl and Aaron Ramsbottom replied.