WASHINGTON won for the first time in Division Two, defeating Alnwick Town,
Goals came from Mark Davison, Nathan Cummings, James Fairley and Chris Winn. At one stage, Alnwick led courtesy of Brad McLelland and Adam Shanks.
Seaham Red Star’s Dean Nicholson was shown a straight red card after only 18 minutes and ended goalless with Billingham Town who went down to 10 men five minutes from time with the dismissal of Dan Ballentyne.
An only goal by David Fitzpatrick, who scored direct from a free kick, earned Whickham the points in a closely-fought contest at Chester-le-Street.
Birtley Town are joint leaders after inflicting a first defeat on Team Northumbria, who remain in pole position on goal difference.
Kai Hewitson headed past goalkeeper Andy Jennison on 43 minutes and 10 minutes from the end Dan Maddison’s solo run ended with him slotting the ball into the net.
Ryton and Crawcrook Albion struggled against relegation throughout last season but are up to third after defeating Thornaby by the odd goal in seven, courtesy of Will Forsyth, Sam Moore, Callum Turnbull and Scott Gunn. Jamie Clarke (2) and Joe Melvin replied.
Ryhope CW are fourth, just a point behind the leading trio and they improved their goals ratio when they struck four times through Jack Pounder (2) and Chris Trewick (2) at home to Brandon United who managed one goal from James Davidson.