SEAHAM Red Star remain hot on the heels of Ebac Northern League second-top Jarrow Roofing as five sides fight it out for the three promotion places in the Second Division.
It was a close call for Mark Collingwood’s side at Stokesley SC, but the only goal was worthy of winning any match.
Danny Reay sent an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net on 73 minutes, giving goalkeeper Danny Lynas absolutely no chance of making a save.
Seaham remain level on points with Roofing who have a slightly better goal difference after defeating lowly Esh Winning 3-0 at Waterhouses.
Jimmy Nicholson’s shot caught Esh goalkeeper Tom Orton unsighted for the opener in the first minute, but it wasn’t until the 75th minute that third-bottom Esh, who have conceded more goals than any other side, saw their hopes of a point dashed as Andy Appleby lobbed the ball into the net from 15 yards.
It looked all over for Esh and, four minutes from the end, Appleby drove home to ensure there was no way back for the home side.
North Shields remain seven points ahead at the top of the table and they had little difficulty overcoming Willington at the Daren Persson Stadium.
Philip Robinson struck for the Robins after just eight minutes, with Ben Richardson converting a 27th-minute penalty, awarded after Stuart Donnison had been brought down.
Dan Smart produced a good finish to make it three, but, on the stroke of half-time, Adam Comby threw Willington a lifeline from a free-kick.
Before the hour was up, however, excellent work by Robinson created the opportunity for Dean Walker to just about put the game beyond the reach of the Hall Lane side at 4-1.
Durham City fully deserved to share the points with Newcastle Benfield in their First Division game.
A quickly-taken free kick by Steve Baptist brought a good save from City goalkeeper Dean Caris, but Mark Convery and James Luccock followed up and Stephen Tobin headed the Tynesiders into a 24th-minute lead.
An excellent four-man move almost resulted in Scott Fenwick equalising. In the second half, Fenwick was not to be denied when his well-struck drive took a deflection off defender Chris Carr and wrong-footed Benfield goalkeeper Andy Grainger.
Durham dominated the second period and Grainger came to the Tynesiders’ rescue on more than one occasion.
He particularly excelled in denying Ollie Hotchkiss whose powerful shot in added time had “goal” written all over it until Grainger made a superb save.
Dunston UTS shrugged off their FA Vase disappointment to comfortably ease past Newton Aycliffe 4-0, courtesy of Gary Ormston, Lee McAndrew, Jonny Wightman and Andrew Bulford.
There was some good news for Sunderland RCA in their relegation fight when Morpeth Town, who are just a point above them, went down 1-0 to Guisborough Town, with Daniel Johnson scoring the only goal.