Ryhope CW extended their perfect start to the Ebac Northern League Division One season, making it three wins out of three at newly-promoted Billingham Synthonia on Saturday.
Gary Pearson’s lads did it in style, too, winning 3-0 to sit third in the fledgling table. The game came to life with incidents a minute either side of half-time.
First up, Ryhope had Danni Lay red-carded for a challenge on David Hillerby just before the break, but the 10-man visitors started the second period in super style, going ahead with Corey Nicholson’s goal on 46 minutes, closing down a poor back pass and converting with aplomb.
Synners piled on the pressure, but Ryhope defended admirably and they secured all three points with two goals in the final four minutes.
Matty Weirs was played in to double the lead on 86 minutes, then Joe Melvin hit his fourth goal of the campaign in stoppage time to delight the travelling fans.
Seaham Red Star picked up their second win of the season rising to eighth place in the league in the process, after edging a 3-2 victory at newly-promoted Team Northumbria.
Red Star stormed into a 2-0 half time lead, courtesy of Lee Chapman, with an excellent free-kick from just outside the box on 35 minutes, and a Craig Lynch effort right on half-time, when he turnedand fired into the corner of the net.
The Tynesiders rallied in the second half and cut the deficit when Sam Read coolly beat goalkeeper Jordan Harkess to finish off a fine, flowing move.
Robbie Bird finished well to restore Star’s two-goal advantage, but they were hanging on at the end after Joshua Bynoe made it 3-2 in the last minute.
Washington secured their second draw of the season, held 2-2 at home by arrow Roofing.
Peter Watling gave the home side a 17th-minute lead, when he fired past goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook after good work from Rhys Evans, only for the visitors to equalise within a minute, as Lee Kerr turned and drove home from the edge of the box.
In the second half, Jake Pickard put Washington back in front with an 80th-minute penalty, after Adam Shanks was fouled by Ryan Burton.
But Shaun Vipond scored a cracker with three minutes to go, volleying home from just inside the box, to ensure a share of the spoils.
West Auckland went top of the division, courtesy of a 3-1 win at new boys Stockton Town.
The hosts went in front through Jamie Owens’ 21st-minute effort, but a seven-minute hat-trick from Nathan Fishe, midway through the second period, ensured the three points went to the visitors.
Bishop Auckland’s troubles continued with a 5-0 drubbing at North Shields.
Lee Mason, Craig McFarlane, Joe Robson, Joe Kerridge and Jordan Summerly all got in on the act.