Sunderland West End are very much in contention for the championship after toppling Redcar Athletic in Saturday’s crucial game at Ford Quarry.
Manager Anth Nelson claimed it was “a must-win game” and the Wearsiders made no mistake, romping to an emphatic 3-0 victory against the leaders.
They made a dream start, with Brad Foster heading in a corner after just 12 minutes. Shortly before the interval, Keiron Martin scored the important second goal.
He went past three defenders in a mazy run and gave goalkeeper Matthew Berry no chance with a perfect finish.
Any hopes the leaders harboured of saving the game all but ended on 55 minutes when a defender put through his own goal.
West End moved up to fourth place. Although they are 13 points adrift of Redcar, they have eight games in hand on their rivals.
At the other end of the table, there’s still no respite for Murton, who, despite scoring first, succumbed to Seaham Red Star Reserves in their derby.
Midway during the opening period, Jordan Thompson fired past Seaham goalkeeper Shay Adamson and Murton remained in front until they conceded three late goals in the space of 15 minutes.
Mark Ruddick drove in the equaliser, Andrew Beer fired Red Star in front and, just before the end, Ryan Martin made sure there would be no way back for the hosts.
Spennymoor Town Reserves remain in the top six after they beat Boldon CA 3-1 at Coxhoe.
Two goals in as many minutes from Ross Morrow and Matthew Pennall had them comfortably ahead at the break. When Robert Thompson cleverly back-heeled a cross from Ryan Cummings after 53 minutes, it was all over for the South Tynesiders.
Boldon did manage a late consolation strike as Frankie Hucks converted a penalty, awarded following a scramble in the box.
Horden CW, with Chris Cain taking in his first game as chairman following the resignation last week of long-serving Norman Stephens, hit Whitehaven for six.
The goals flowed from Tom Young (2), Shaun Fisk (2), Danny Flounders and Robbie Taylor. Bradley Dryden bagged the Cumbrians’ only goal.
Silksworth CW scored five times in extra time to reach the first round of the Wearside League Cup.
Jack Young and Shaun Carroll had Harton and Westoe two goals up by the 49th minute, but Silkworth, who before the game appointed Michael McVay and Willie Crew in temporary charge, roared back.
John Fortune and Stephen Moody levelled the scores and, amazingly in extra time, Adam Storey rifled a hat-trick, Moody also struck while McVay celebrated his baptism by also finding the net.
Annfield Plain edged Leam Rangers by the odd goal in three. Second-half strikes by Casey Glendinning and Liam Dempsey had Plain ahead until Gavin Williams threw Leam a lifeline with his 80th-minute header.
In the first round, Stockton Town were leading 5-1 until Jarrow scored three times in four minutes right at the end.
Chris Stockton, with a hat-trick, Joe Scaife-Wheatley and Stephen Roberts appeared to have won the game for the Teessiders, but sub Brodie Simpson shook Stockton with his late hat-trick, adding to Andrew Wilkinson’s strike, as the home side were hanging on to a slender one-goal lead.
Richmond Town reached the second round, defeating Prudhoe Town 3-1 after trailing to Aaron Hadler’s goal. Sam Joyce (2), and Mark Simms turned it around.
Ashbrooke Belford House were saved a long journey to Cleator Moor Celtic when the fixture became the only casualty of the rain.