Washington suffered a heartbreaking collapse as West Auckland hit back from three goals down to rescue a First Division point on Saturday.
The Mechanics looked on course for an impressive first win under their new management team of James Clark and Michael Laws, until West struck three times in the final 18 minutes to force a 3-3 draw.
Washington took the lead on 31 minutes, when Jake Fowler collected the ball from Jake Pickard on the edge of the box and beat goalkeeper Lewis Graham with his low drive.
It was 2-0 on 56 minutes, when skipper Matthew Waters – who earlier passed up a good chance to score from five yards – headed home a corner. Ten minutes later, Waters scored his second, when he lobbed keeper Graham.
But West Auckland fought back tremendously. On 72 minutes, Tommy Marron took down a deep free-kick inside the box and fired a fierce strike into the top corner.
Substitute Craig Ruddy converted a penalty to make it 3-2 in the 87th minute, shooting just out of the reach of diving keeper Dan Gladstone.
Then, in the 89th minute, Washington’s defence failed to clear the ball properly and the ball fell to Zak Boagey, who smashed it home.
Washington slipped to fourth-bottom spot with the draw and are 10 points clear of the relegation places, though third-bottom Guisborough have a game in hand.
Ryhope CW impressed in holding fourth-placed Morpeth Town to a 1-1 draw.
Morpeth took the lead in a goalmouth scramble in the 67th minute, with Matthew Grieve firing past keeper Jonny Ball.
But never-say-die Ryhope secured their point with a leveller nine minutes from time. Man of the match Lee Chapman crossed the ball in for Danni Lay and his header beat goalkeeper Karl Dryden.
Sunderland RCA hosted bottom club Chester-le-Street at Meadow Park and the visitors were happy with their point in a 0-0 stalemate, boosting their hopes of survival.
In difficult weather conditions, Chester-le-Street had goalkeeper Jack Wilson to thank, for keeping them in the game with a couple of decent saves in the first half.
After the interval, with the wind at their backs, the Cestrians came into the game a bit more.
Late on, the visitors tried in vain to force a winner, but goalkeeper Jonathan Carmichael kept them at bay and the game finished 0-0.
Bishop Auckland lost narrowly 1-0 to leaders North Shields, who moved 11 points clear at the top, though second-top neighbours South Shields have three games in hand.
Bishops had goalkeeper Scott Pocklington to thank for a number of good saves in the first half, but, on 45 minutes, the Robins made the breakthrough when Ryan Carr was fouled in the box and Gareth Bainbridge converted the spot-kick.
Third-top Shildon secured a 1-0 victory at second-bottom West Allotment Celtic.
The vital goal came n the 14th minute, when the Railwaymen were awarded a penalty and Matty Robson stepped up to hammer the ball past goalkeeper Christopher Bannon.
Consett were well beaten, 4-2 by impressive visitors Marske United, with Danny Earl scoring all four goals for the Seasiders.
He volleyed home a cross after just two minutes, and seven minutes later scored again from close range, following Curtis Round’s centre.
He completed his hat-trick on 32 minutes then hit home a magnificent volleyed fourth past keeper Peter Jeffries, from outside the box, early in the second period.
Consett replied strongly, with Luke Sullivan netting twice, including a 78th-minute penalty, denying visiting keeper Robert Dean a clean sheet in his 200th appearance for United.
Jarrow Roofing eased their fears near the foot of the table with a crunch 4-1 win over Guisborough Town.
Chris Winn was the star of the show, hitting a fifth-minute opener, setting up Dennis Knight to double the lead on 19 minutes and then turning to fire home a superb third.
Knight made it 4-0 on 35 minutes, with a free-kick in off the bar, before Steven Roberts pulled one back with a set piece of his own.
The win took Roofing up to fifth-bottom spot, 11 points clear of the bottom three.
Jamie Owens’ hat-trick, and a Stuart Banks strike, earned Newton Aycliffe a 4-2 victory at Penrith.
Andy Robertson and Callum Anderson saw Whitley Bay home 2-1 against Dunston UTS, with Warren Byrne responding.