SILKSWORTH Rangers’ hopes of extending their recent Wearside League mini-revival with a giant-killing act against Redcar Athletic did not materialise.
However, it was not until the latter stages of the game that the leaders could relax.
The Wearsiders gifted Redcar a 33rd-minute lead when Billy Millington took advantage of a defensive lapse and midway through the second half, John Seaton doubled his team’s advantage.
Silksworth kept up the fight but suffered a double blow on 85 minutes when Stephen Usher was sent off for a second bookable offence and from the resultant free-kick, Millington was again on target.
Redcar remain five points clear of Ryhope CW, who have three games in hand on their rivals.
Martin Swales’ side also won by a three-goal margin at Gateshead Leam Rangers.
Nathan O’Neil headed past goalkeeper, Dean Saunders who was then beaten twice by John Butler in the space of two early second half minutes.
Stockton Town have not given up hope of pipping the leading pair for the title, but are outsiders, though they hit Hartlepool with a four-goal drubbing, which enabled them to stay third.
Tom Hinchley, with a brace, Chris Stockton and an own goal had the game won before Brodie Myers claimed a stoppage time consolation for Pools.
Sunderland West End have lost form suddenly. After winning 12 games on the bounce, they have now lost the last four, after going down to Darlington Cleveland Bridge, whose marksmen were Bradley Woods and Liam Jarvie.
Ashbrooke Belford House took the lead courtesy of Mark Green at Jarrow, but then trailed to goals by Paul Trosh and Grant Pressland until Paul Taylor levelled in the 89th minute.
Coxhoe Athletic won only twice in their first 26 games, but have won the last two following victory over Kirkbymoorside when debutant Shane Todd and Andrew Blackbird struck.
Monkwearmouth Charity Cup finalists Boldon CA comfortably saw off Annfield Plain with goals from Michael Meek (2) and Shaun Reay.
Willington romped home at Prudhoe Town where they were four up inside 26 minutes, thanks to Mark Foster and Paul Baines, who bagged a brace each.
Wolviston lost by two goals at home to Cleator Moor Celtic, Ryan Hall and Bradley Rooney their marksmen.