Ryhope CW made it three wins in a row to move eight points clear of the Ebac Northern League Division One drop zone last night.
In a crucial match at third-bottom Jarrow Roofing, Gary Pearson’s men rose to the occasion to win 3-1, going eight points above Richie McLoughlin’s side, with three games in hand.
After a bright start, Ryhope took a 20th-minute lead, when Jake Winship hit a cross-cum-shot, which went over the head of the home keeper and into the net.
Jonny Ball made an excellent save from Roofing’s Liam Anderson after 34 minutes, tipping his effort over the bar.
Both sides had a man sent off on 51 minutes, with Danni Lay sent off for punching Liam Anderson, who saw red for the aftermath.
On the hour mark, Ryhope went 2-0 up with a neat strike from Josh Home-Jackson, but Roofing soon responded with Dennis Knight smashing his spot-kick high into the net after being brought down.
Ryhope, though, restored their two-goal advantagewith a low strike from Nat Skidmore into the bottom corner of the net.
Sunderland RCA had goalkeeper Keith Finch to thank for their three points at Dunston UTS after winning an entertaining game 2-1.
Michael Hall headed UTS in front on 15 minutes, giving Finch no chance.
A minute before half-time, RCA were level when Nathan O’Neill’s header beat goalkeeper Niall Harrison.
RCA went ahead two minutes into the second half, Colin Larkin scoring with a beauty.
Finch made a brilliant save, diving to his right to tip Mark Fitzpatrick’s 79th-minute penalty around the post to seal the victory.
Second-bottom Washington slipped closer to the drop after a 1-0 loss at Newton Aycliffe. The only goal came from the penalty spot on 54 minutes, with Thibault Charmey beating goalkeeper Craig Williams.
The Mechanics are 15 points from safety, with seven games to go.
Second-top Consett drew 0-0 with Marske United, who rose above West Auckland on goal difference into third place. Consett’s Danny Craggs hit a belter from outside the box which was brilliantly saved by Robert Dean, while Michael Sweet fired wide in the secfond half.
Seaham Red Star’s home clash with Stockton Town was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.
In Division Two, Chester-le-Street drew 2-2 at home to Billingham Town.
Joe Kerridge gave Billingham a seventh-minute lead, and Elliott Beddow doubled the lead on 33 minutes.
Andrew Clarkson pulled one back with a header on 57 minutes. Billingham’s Clayton McDonald was red-carded soon after and Chester capitalised to equalise with a Mark Peck strike.
Durham City lost 3-1 to West Allotment Celtic.
Eamon Nugent-Doyle and Bruno Mendes-Correia (2) did the damage, with Bradley Hird reducing the deficit from the penalty spot.
Tow Law eased to a 3-0 victory over Heaton Stannington, with Dean Thexton, Kai Hewitson and Damon Reaks all netting.
Bedlington Terriers boosted their survival bid, beating Ryton & Crawcrook Albion 2-1. Jack Foalle and Scott Lowery struck, before Martyn Hepple replied.
In the TWR Bifolds Wearside League, fourth-placed Boldon CA held second-top Hebburn Town Reserves to a 1-1 draw.
The visitors were ahead from a corner in the third minute, but Hebburn rallied. Josh Houghton went close on 26 minutes, when his shot grazed the bar, and they equalised after 64 minutes, Daniel Maddison smashing home a fierce shot.