Sunderland RCA’s Ebac Northern League Division One run without a win extended to five with last night’s late 1-0 loss at Jarrow Roofing.
After a tight first half in which Ross Preston went closest for RCA, they had two men sent off within six second-half minutes.
Reece Noble saw red for a violent kick on Andrew Jennison a minute after half-time, then Daniel Lay followed for an elbow in the face of Anthony Myers as the pair went up to contest a header.
The vital breakthrough came on 85 minutes when a long ball was sent into the box and not properly cleared, and Paul Chow reacted first to slot the loose ball home from close range, giving goalkeeper Neal Bussey no chance.
South Shields increased their lead at the top by three points with a 4-1 win at bottom club West Auckland.
Carl Finnigan shot low into the bottom corner from 15 yards past keeper David Knight on 16 minutes.
Eight minutes later, David Palmer’s cross-shot from 12 yards went in off the far post.
Just before half-time, Finnigan scored his second from the penalty spot following a handball offence.
Darren Richardson pulled one back when he volleyed home a right-wing cross from eight yards past keeper Jonathan Carmichael. However, Shields sealed the win when Robert Briggs scored with a 25-yard free-kick.
West Allotment Celtic were hammered 8-1 at Newton Aycliffe, who moved into third place. A John Campbell hat-trick did most of the damage, with Dennis Knight (2), Ashley Coffey (2) and Paul Garthwaite completing the rout.
Bishop Auckland had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Whitley Bay, who had Angelos Eleftheriadis sent off for a bad foul on Michael Hoganson with more than half an hour to play.
In Division Two, Brandon United surprised Whickham with a 2-1 away win, only their second victory this term.
Kieran Duffy-Weekes and Vinny Gash struck in a niggly clash at the Glebe before Joe Mole responded from the penalty spot. Brandon keeper Tom Orton later kept out at second home penalty before Gash was red-carded for the visitors.
A dramatic last-gasp winner gave Whitby Town a 1-0 win Evo-Stik League Premier Division win at Spennymoor Town.
The vital goal came when Dale Hopson ran into the box and fired a left-foot shot past keeper Daniel Lawson.