Washington grabbed a late, late equaliser to pick up a crucial point in the battle for First Division survival on Saturday.
The Mechanics stayed 10 points clear of the drop zone, in fourth-bottom spot, while bottom-placed visitors Chester-le-Street remain 12 points from safety.
The Mechanics stormed ahead after 33 minutes, when Sam Bramley tapped home from close range.
Six minutes later it was 2-0, when Gary Shaw found Matty Waters, who headed home from six yards.
In the second half, the Cestrians showed great character, fighting back to level with two goals in two minutes. Lee Mole when he lobbed keeper Dan Gladstone for their first after 57 minutes, then Joe Hailes headed an equaliser.
Chester, with confidence high, took the lead when Mole crossed for Dominic Laws, who powered in a header from close range.
But Washington rescued a precious draw two minutes from time, when skipper Waters found Jake Pickard, who slammed home from the edge of the box.
Washington’s point was handy as third-bottom Guisborough Town struck late themselves to earn a draw against Ryhope CW.
Gary Pearson’s Ryhope were seconds away from victory away to the Priorymen, only to be hauled back to 2-2 by Matthew Lovett’s header into the bottom corner of Jonny Ball’s net.
David Onions gave Guisborough the lead on seven minutes, when his 25-yard effort found the top corner, but Josh Home-Jackson equalised with a 25th-minute Header.
Ryhope looked good for all three points when Richard Paxton was allowed to score with a free header from a corner in the 70th minute, but Guisborough rallied to stay 10 points adrift of Washington, with a game in hand.
Sunderland RCA won 3-0 at relegation-threatened West Allotment Celtic, inspired by a great performance from hat-trick hero Colin Larkin.
The Irishman scored his first goal right on half time, when he tapped home past goalkeeper Chris Bannon.
It was 2-0 when Larkin scored his second goal after 75 minutes. He was brought down by Bannon in the box and drove in the resulting penalty.
Larkin completed his hat-trick in added time, smashing his shot into the corner of the net following a great through ball from Stephen Callen.
Seaham Red Star fought hard, but Bishop Auckland are pushing strong for fifth position after another good win, 3-0 at Heritage Park.
Bishops opened the scoring after 17 minutes, when good work from James Fairley gave Andrew Johnson an opportunity from two yards.
Prolific marksmann Johnson dribbled past two defenders before sliding home his second goal past goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook just before the hour.
For the third goal, Fairley ran 40 yards with the ball before unleashing a brilliant shot into the top right-hand corner of the net after 78 minutes.
West Auckland were well beaten at Morpeth Town, going down 4-1.
Liam Henderson headed home Joe Walton’s cross for the opener, and Walton brilliantly volleyed home a second.
Henderson scored his second after 50 minutes, before Zak Boagey converted a 78th-minute penalty consolation. Sub Michael Chilton made it 4-1 late on.
Leaders North Shields won 3-1 at Ashington to stay eight points clear, with Gareth Bainbridge, Gary Ormston and Dean Holmes netting. Ben Richardson struck for the Colliers.
South Shields had Gavin Cogdon, set up by Robert Briggs and Jon Shaw, and Carl Finnigan, in stoppage time, to thank for a hard-fought 2-0 home victory against third-top Shildon, with a 1,113 crowd seeing the Mariners make it 21 wins in a row.
Consett had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Jarrow Roofing, after taking a two-goal lead.
They led after seven minutes, when Jordan Nellis scored from a tight angle, beating keeper Lewis Brass, following a quick breakaway. Michael Sweet swept home a second after rapid breakaway on 35 minutes.
Roofing rallied as Dennis Knight scored a brilliant goal, beating two men and smashing his shot high into the net from 25 yards.
They equalised when Dan Kirkup raced in at the back to head home, giving keeper Peter Jefferies no chance.
Whitley Bay ran out good 3-1 winners at Newton Aycliffe, with Andy Robertson, Callum Patton and Thibault Charmey on target. Ben Trotter replied.
Scott Heslop bagged a clinical treble to help Dunston UTS win a thriller 6-4 against Newcastle Benfield, for whom John Campbell and Paul Brayson hit doubles.
Steven Richardson, Richard Slaughter and Liam Thear added to Heslop’s hat-trick for Dunston.