Sunderland RCA scored four times at Meadow Park on Saturday – but still lost to First Division leaders Shildon.
The Wearsiders could hardly have made a better start. Joe Hughes slotted past keeper Lewis Graham, who was soon beaten again by Stephen Callan as RCA led 2-0.
Shildon, though, quickly hit back. Paul Connor reduced the deficit and the sides went in at the interval level following Mark Doninger’s equaliser.
RCA’s hopes of a giant-killing act wilted when they conceded twice in a minute immediately after the break.
Mickey Rae fired the visitors in front for the first time and it became 4-2 as Doninger struck again.
Clayton Davis threw Martin Swales’ team a lifeline, but the Railwaymen stormed 6-3 ahead courtesy of ex-RCA man Kyle Fryatt and Rae.
Just before the end, Luke Proctor missed a penalty for RCA, but the home side did manage a fourth goal, courtesy of Michael Charlton, right at the death.
Durham City moved into fourth place with a comfortable 4-1 win over Penrith.
Culpable defending enabled James Fairley to run the ball into the net for the opener, and Callum Patton doubled the lead when the visitors were again hesitant at the back. Gary Shaw made it three before Penrith’s Jordan Little had a penalty saved by Tom Flynn.
David Reynard did reduce the deficit, but City re-established a three-goal cushion through summer signing Fairley’s second goal.
Norton and Stockton Ancients beat Seaham Red Star 2-0 in a battle of two promoted clubs.
Seaham goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook saved a spot-kick from Harrison Davies, who soon atoned for his miss by giving the home side the lead.
Before the interval, Matthew Pennell robbed a defender ll and fired across Newbrook into the net.
Red Star’s hopes of a revival receded when David Scorer was shown a straight red card on 48 minutes.
In Division Two, newcomers Easington Colliery just edged Willington 4-3.
Despite the closeness of the result, the Colliers were never behind and were two goals ahead three times.
Luke Page and David Laight each struck twice, with Adam Burnicle (2) and Corey Nicholson replying.
Chester-le-Street and Team Northumbria are second and third, respectively, after they shared in a goalless draw. Team keeper Steven Mundy made three outstanding saves, while his opposite number, Aidan Ames, was never extended.
Ryhope CW’s fixture at South Shields was abandoned after the Mariners’ Adam Sakr was injured as he collided with visiting keeper Chris Rookes.
Following a delay awaiting the arrival of an ambulance, the referee called a halt, with just two minutes played.
Joe Peel hit a 95th-minute leveller for leaders Darlington RA in a 2-2 draw with Whickham, for whom Scott Swanston scored both goals..
Esh Winning sealed a first win, beating pointless Stokesley SC 2-1. Daniel Hill bagged a brace before Mattie Campbell cut the deficit.
Brandon United rallied in a remarkable 4-4 draw at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.
By the 46th minute, Ryton led 4-0 thanks to Sam Moore’s hat-trick and a David Backhouse strike. Brandon played the entire second half with 10 men following an injury to Shaun Fenwick, but, amazingly, their fighting spirit earned them a point.
Vinny Gash and James Marshall reduced the deficit before two goals in stoppage time rescued a draw. Kieran Weekes struck then, seconds later, with every player included their goalkeeper up in the attack, Joe Calvert bundled home a leveller.