The Philadelphia staged a storming fightback to rescue a 3-3 draw against North Shields Pineapple in the battle of the bottom two in Division Two.
The gusty winds made conditions very difficult for the six-pointer, but Pineapple were first to benefit from the wind, when a sixth-minute corner was taken out of the Phili keeper’s hands and the ball forced over the line.
Phili responded with a 15th-minute leveller. Paul Russell fed a great ball through to Alan Jones, who rode a tackle before blasting home from 10 yards.
Both sides got to grips with the conditions, playing good football, and Pineapple scrambled a second goal to restore their lead, before capitalising on a defensive error to make it 3-1 in the 65th minute.
Phili threw on their super subs for the final stages, and they came up trumps.
On 70 minutes, a great cross was put into the visitors’ area and up popped Phil Brown, at the back post, to smash his first goal of the season.
Phili kept pushing and were rewarded with a 72nd-minute leveller when Alan Jones took on and beat the defence, before coolly rounding the keeper to score.
Mill View SC edged a 2-1 victory at Durham Stonebridge.
Both sides tried to pass the ball and play football in difficult conditions. Stonebridge made the early running with the wind at their backs and took a 20th-minute lead.
Mill responded well and fought back when man of the match Stevie Fraser hit a 25-yard thunderbolt into the bottom corner.
Mill needed an outstanding save from goalkeeper Del Groves to deny Stonebridge a second, and the visitors’ never-say-die attitude paid off when Ashley Hodgson forced home a close-range winner.
George Duncan and Steve Dobinson were outstanding in Mill’s defence.
John Hogg Funerals lost 2-1 at CSSC Darsley Park, while Peterlee Helford were beaten 3-1 at The Milbourne Arms.
Rolls-Royce enhanced their Third Division survival chances with a hard-earned 3-2 victory at lowly Houghton Cricket Club.
Rolls grabbed an early lead after good work by Alan Evans led to the ball falling to Davy Smith, who rifled in a fine shot.
Wayne Browell then hit a 25-yard screamer to double the lead at the break.
Houghton kept themselves in the game when they pulled a goal back on 55 minutes, but Rolls restored their two-goal cushion after a superb long pass from sub Kev Rowntree to Davy White, who used his pace to beat the defence and stroked the ball past the advancing keeper.
Houghton made it 3-2 in the last minute with a wind-assisted shot from long range which crept in just under the bar.
On-form Oddies moved level on points with third-bottom Houghton Cricket after another win, 2-1 against Washington JFC Biddick Inn.
Willow Pond had to settle for a 1-1 draw at bottom side Shildon Grey Horse, whose tenacity made life tough for the Sunderland side throughout.
Indeed, Shildon, in large parts of the game, outplayed the visitors with controlled passing as star man David Bulleyment tormented Willow’s defence.
Willow’s best chance came from a Ronald Bulmer pass to James Briant in the box. He fed an unmarked John Forster, at the far post, only for him to miss a golden opportunity.
Shildon took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half. Bulleyment skipped over Mark Woods’ lunging tackle to place a pinpoint cross into the box for Alan Bell, whose volley rifled off the bar.
with Willow’s back four looking on, Kevin Comerford pounced on the rebound to fire past John Davis to put Shildon ahead.
Willow responded when Bulmer’s free-kick was met by Andy Norman, whose header was well saved by Ian McMahon.
McMahon made more saves as Willow upped the pressure, but he was finally beaten in the last minute as Bulmer fed Lee Brown on the wing. Ge set up Briant, who dribbled his way into the box and fired home at the near post under the diving McMahon.
Washington Victoria Inn missed the chance to go fifth in the Premier Division after losing 4-2 at home to relegation-threatened Wallsend Community.
With a strong wind behind them, Victoria totally dominated the first half but could not break down the visiting defence.
Wallsend led at the break when a slip from a defender allowed John Faucher to run through and score.
Washington started the second half very well and soon levelled with a Steve Burns volley. Skipper Chris Holtan was then put through by Justin Kirtley to put Victoria 2-1 up.
However, Wallsend came back strongly, with the help of the wind. They equalised with a fine goal by defender Damian Hall, coming in at the back post to convert a tremendous corner.
Faucher then completed his hat-trick with two fine goals to sink Victoria, whose star man was stand-in full-back Keith Gamble.
Ryhope Foresters stayed five points behind leaders Marden with a 4-0 success against Hebburn Town.
Red House WMC boosted their survival chances with an outstanding 4-1 win at fourth-top Penshaw Catholic Club, while Wearmouth CW, in fifth, lost 2-0 at Darlington Shuttle and Loom.
Ivy Legends consolidated fourth place in Division Four with a hard-earned 1-0 derby victory at Wearmouth Old Boys.
Colonel Prior were outgunned 4-0 at Hartlepool Vets, but only trailed to an unlucky own goal at the break.
Oddfellows Arms worked hard before losing 3-1 to leaders Roseberry Grange, while bottom club Trimdon Vets moved within a point of Oddfellows after a 2-2 draw at Durham County.
Boldon Colliery Tavern rose to sixth place by winning 2-1 at Hartlepool Vets.
The only First Division game to get the go-ahead saw Dubmire rise to seventh on the back of a 2-2 draw at home to second-bottom St Mary’s College.