Sunderland RCA enjoyed a day to remember as they hit double figures at Washington, leaving the Mechanics just a point above the relegation trapdoor.
The Meadow Park men, who pushed South Shields so close on Thursday, showed no mercy in a 10-1 trouncing of their hosts at Nissan.
Michael Charlton had to wait until the 31st minute to make the breakthrough from close range then Stephen Callen scored twice in eight minutes, netting from a tight angle and then finishing off a nice passing move.
Colin Larkin’s stunning 25-yarder killed off the Mechanics early in the second period, and Charlton made it 5-0 with a fine strike from the edge of the box.
Defender Greg Swansbury and John Butler both added to their former club’s woes by the 70th minute. Butler bagged his second before player-coach Steven Stewart added a ninth against his old side.
Chris Laws’ well-taken strike gave Washington a consolation before James Armstrong completed the scoring with a 10th RCA goal right on time
Washington now face a four-game battle to stay in the top flight, all away from home.
Chester-le-Street are nine points adrift of safety, in bottom spot, with just three matches to play.
Their slim hopes evaporated with a 4-1 defeat to third-bottom Guisborough Town, who are now just a point behind Washington.
Louis Goldsack headed the Priorymen in front in the ninth minute and further goals from Connor Smith and David Onions soon made it 3-0.
Jack Honour pulled one back from the penalty spot just before half-time, but he crucially missed another spot-kick in the 67th minute, with James Dawson making the save.
Sub Mason McNeill added Guisborough’s fourth in the 93rd minute.
Ryhope CW secured a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw at home to Dunston UTS.
James Ellis put Ryhope ahead in the third minute, hitting his 20th goal of the season, converting a left-wing Davie Gordon cross at the near post.
Leon Ryan twice went close, and also set up Ellis for a great chance, before Dunston levelled on 37 minutes, Richard Slaughter firing in an effort from the edge of the box which deflected into the top corner.
Two minutes later, Lee Chapman instantly put the home side in front again, with a brilliant strike as Ryhope attacked from the kick-off.
Dale Burrell levelled at 2-2, jinking his way past Ryhope’s defence in a surging run before firing left-footed past Jonny Ball.
Seaham Red Star disappointingly lost 4-1 at home to Ashington, a 10th home defeat in their penultimate match of the campaign.
Ben Harmison scored at the back post to give the visitors a 29th-minute lead, but Red Star levelled seven minutes later, when Luke Proctor smashed home.
Ashington regained the lead two minutes into the second half, through Dale Pearson, and Andrew Bulford soon made it 3-1.
Red Star conceded again in stoppage time, as sub Kyle Downey scored from the penalty spot.
South Shields, with their 29th straight win in all competitions, closed the gap on leaders North Shields to six points, with three games in hand.
But they had to settle for a 1-0 Mariners Park win over Bishop Auckland.
The crucial goal came after 63 minutes, when Andrew Stephenson’s cross was bundled home by Michael Richardson. Barrie Smith and Gavin Cogdon both hit the post for Shields, who were defied time and again by impressive Bishops goalkeeper Scott Pocklington.
Shields host Consett tomorrow and then visit North Shields on Saturday. Two wins will take them top on goal difference, still with two games in hand.
Joint manager Graham Fenton said: “I am very pleased with the team’s performance. This is 29 games now we have won on the trot and we have played four games in the last week, but we have a strong squad and we have been able to rotate them, but kept winning at the same time.”
Whitley Bay edged a 2-1 home win over Consett to leapfrog the Steelmen into seventh place.
Thibault Charmey put Bay ahead, and keeper Tom Flynn made a superb double save from Lewis Teasdale to keep them in front at half-time.
Kyle Patton’s close-range finish doubled the lead before Michael Sweet gave Consett hope on 73 minutes.
Newcastle Benfield beat Jarrow Roofing 2-1, with Paul Brayson scoring his 50th goal of the season.
Dylan McEvoy also netted, with Dan Kirkup responding.
Shildon’s home clash with Marske United was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, as was West Auckland’s game at Penrith.