The Sunderland West End band wagon rolls on and Saturday’s thrilling 4-3 victory at Richmond Town stretched a 100 per cent record to six games.
Twice the Wearsiders had to erase a two-goal deficit. Tony Callaghan’s brace gave the Yorkshiremen a perfect start and although Barry Turton reduced the deficit before the interval, Richmond went 3-1 up through Anthony Harrison.
Jamie Fryatt led the second fightback, then, after Turton levelled on 85 minutes to set up a frenetic finale, David Keithley came up trumps, snatching a dramatic winner.
Anth Nelson’s side lead the table by two points and have a game in hand on second-placed Redcar Athletic. They visit on-song Boldon CA on Wednesday.
Redcar lost for the first time, going down to Boldon CA. Lance Skelton, who was sent off in the 89th minute, had a 12th-minute penalty saved by Boldon goalkeeper Sebastian Turner.
Boldon broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, through Alex Kempster, and, after Michael Woodhouse levelled, the South Tynesiders secured a 2-1 win thanks to Jack Lawson’s strike.
Newcomers Murton are still finding their feet and they crashed to a 5-0 defeat at home to Ashbrooke Belford House, whose man-of-the-match was hat-trick hero Lee Owens.
Jordan Birnie and Mark Wasey also beat goalkeeper Dean Caris and helped earn Ashbrooke their first win of the season at the seventh attempt.
Seaham Red Star Reserves, like Murton, have yet to win.
They were second best in the derby at Horden CW, who went nap through Chris Tarn, with a hat-trick, Evann Graham and David Southern. Paul Atkinson claimed a consolation for Star.
Silksworth CW are surprisingly second-bottom, still pointless. They were hit for six at Annfield Plain, who, after finishing wooden spoonists last season, are up to the dizzy heights of mid-table.
Jamie Leathard (2), Michael Brown (2), Mark Longstaff and Colin Snailham all beat Silksworth keeper Alex Ferguson. Matthew Gray had equalised at 1-1, but that was the visitors’ only bright spot.
Three-time champions Stockton Town are third. Kallum Hannah (2), Chris Dunwell and Tom Coulthard swept them to a comfortable 4-0 home victory over Whitehaven.
Wolviston cruised to a 5-0 win at Prudhoe Town, thanks to Junior Masandi (2), Evan McEvoy (2) and Jared Jones.
Ross Morrow scored twice for Spennymoor Town Reserves in a 3-2 defeat at Leam Rangers, who relied on Kieran Day (own goal), Alex Booth and Graham Stephenson.
Paul Burrell gave Jarrow an early lead at Hartlepool with an excellently-executed free kick from 25 yards, but the hosts hit back to win 2-1, courtesy of Mattie Gardiner and a late Lee Jones penalty.
Harton and Westoe CW lost 5-2 at Cleator Moor Celtic, Adam Smith and David Bowman firing consolations.