Ryhope CW’s five-match winning run came to an end as Division One leaders Morpeth Town came from behind to claim all three points at Recreation Park on Saturday.
Ryhope may have lost 5-1, but Gary Pearson’s men put up a spirited display.
The hosts started impressively and deservedly stormed ahead in the 17th minute, when Josh Home-Jackson found space in the box to turn home Adam Cocks’ cross after a good move.
Morpeth, though, hit three goals in four sensational minutes to turn the game around as they stepped up a gear in style.
Liam Henderson levelled on 20 minutes when he finished well under pressure, from close range.
Ex-Sunderland reserve-teamer Sean Taylor then took command, putting the Highwaymen 3-1 up. He rounded keeper Jonny Ball to score after latching onto Henderson’s pass, then expertly side footed home Ben Sayer’s low cross.
Taylor completed a fine hat-trick 10 minutes after half-time, tapping in after Ball had made a fine save to deny Henderson.
Mark Davison completed the scoring in the 80th minute, heading in Danny Carson’s cross.
Morpeth manager Nick Gray said: “We were delighted to take all three points .
“It was a well-deserved victory as Ryhope started the game really well and took the lead, but once we scored the equaliser and went ahead, the game was over for them and the best team won.”
Ryhope are back in action tonight, at home to Ashington. They also visit Newcastle Benfield on Wednesday.
Craig Lynch’s Seaham Red Star went down 3-1 at home to Guisborough Town.
Louis Goldsack put the Priorymen ahead after just five minutes, when he volleyed home, but Red Star fought back to equalise through Lee Hetherington on 25 minutes.
In the second half, Guisborough played well and Lee Bythway put them back in front, heading home on 49 minutes, then Mason McNeil made the game safe from close range, with nine minutes remaining.
Seaham’s Bradley Staunch was red-carded late on. Red Star visit West Auckland tomorrow.
Relegated Washington were well beaten again, 6-0 at home by Shildon.
Two clinical spells of finishing from the Railwaymen, one in each half, pushed them up to fourth place.
Three goals in nine minutes put the visitors well in control, as Billy Greulich-Smith grabbed a brace and player-manager Daniel Moore added another.
Three more goals in a 14-minute second-half spell completed the rout, as Jack Turnbull, Matthew Waters and Adam Gell all got on the scoresheet.
West Auckland stayed third after a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Ashington.
Anthony Bell set Gary Forrest’s men on their way, scoring from close range in the eighth minute.
Ross Colquhoun added a second after 36 minutes, before Bell added the third, with a nice chip over goalkeeper Conor Grant, to make it 3-0, just after half-time.
Bishop Auckland officially relegated Billingham Synthonia with a 5-2 victory at Heritage Park to maintain their six-point cushion over third-bottom Jarrow Roofing.
Darren Richardson put the home side ahead, but Ben Jackson quickly equalised. A Richard Gaston own goal put Bishops ahead again, before Chris Winn made it 3-1.
Synners pulled one back through Joseph Smith on 77 minutes, but further goals from Winn and Michael Hoganson made the game safe for the Two Blues.
Jarrow Roofing bolstered their survival bid with a fine 3-0 success at Newcastle Benfield.
Dennis Knight gave Roofing the perfect start as he intercepted a fifth-minute pass from goalkeeper Andrew Grainger and side-footed homee.
John Campbell latched onto a through ball from Sean Vipond and finished well for 2-0.
Late on, Knight cut inside the defence and fired home for the killer third goal, though Roofing had Vipond sent off after showing dissent to a yellow card given to him a minute earlier.
Penrith, still in the fight for survival, drew 3-3 in a thriller at North Shields.
Martyn Coleman scored a beauty to put the visitors ahead, but Lewis Suddick equalised from long range, just after half-time.
Coleman regained Penrith’s lead, however Ben Harmison scored twice, with his second coming in stoppage time, to see North Shields to the brink of victory.
But Coleman completed his hat-trick in the 96th minute, keeping cool to score from the penalty spot.
Whitley Bay rescued a point with last-minute Jack Walker strike in an entertaining 2-2 draw at home to Team Northumbria.
Tom Potter fired Bay ahead just after half-time, but Gerard Richardson’s deflected shot beat goalkeeper Thomas Flynn to equalise, then Dan Taggart then put Team North ahead with seven minutes left.
Sunderland RCA were disappointed when their trip to Newton Aycliffe was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, while Marske United still have 13 games to play after their visit to Dunston UTS was called off.
RCA are away to Bishop Auckland on Wednesday.