SPENNYMOOR TOWN came from behind with ten men to put the pressure on leaders Darlington when they won 3-2 at Marske United.
Moors had midfielder Lewis Dodds dismissed before halftime, when they trailed 2-1, but a strong second half gave them the points to put them four points behind Darlington with two games in hand.
Assistant manager Gavin Fell said: “We wanted a response from the players following our disappointing performance at RCA in midweek, and they gave us one. They were different class in the second half.”
Marske took the lead with a header by David Yale, but Moors levelled when Gavin Cogdon turned his marker and fired in. A defensive error let in Karl Charlton to make it 2-1 to Marske, then Moors had Dodds red carded for retaliation following a foul.
However, Moors showed why they have been champions for the last three seasons.
Leon Ryan headed against the bar, and fellow defender Micky Laws scored from the rebound, then the unstoppable Cogdon ran at the Marske defence and fired into the bottom corner.
Bedlington wasted a chance to keep the pressure on the leaders by losing 1-0 at Consett, who are now unbeaten in nine. Phil Bannister missed a good chance for Bedlington before Scott Martindale put Consett into the lead in first half stoppage time when he turned the ball in from a few yards.
Sunderland RCA suffered a dreadful 6-0 home defeat by Ashington, the side they face in the FA Vase on Saturday.
Ashington were five-up inside 35 minutes through Marc Walton, Glen Taylor, Mark O’Dea, Paul Antony and Andrew Johnson. Taylor headed another in the second half.
Team Northumbria drew 1- 1 with Guisborough, the visitors’ first league draw of the season. TN, eight games without a win, took the lead with a 25-yard free-kick by Peter Watling, but in the second half Liam McPhillips equalised from the penalty spot. The teams meet again in the League Cup tonight at the same venue.
At the bottom, Norton gained a morale-boosting 3-1 home win over Newcastle Benfield, their first victory in seven league games.
Shaun Clarke gave Norton the lead after player-manager Andy Campbell, on his return from injury, was fouled, and they went further ahead when Callum Wilson crossed for Clarke, later sent-off for two bookings, to volley in.
Wilson then scored at both ends. He put a Denver Morris cross into his own goal then chipped Andy Grainger at the other end.
Penrith were beaten 8-3 at Whitley Bay, despite taking the lead in the first minute through Andy Murray-Jones.
Lee Kerr quickly equalised and Ash Davis put Whitley in the lead, with Penrith equalising through Scott Allison.
Penrith then had one of their management team plus player Willie Paul red carded, and James Fairley fired Whitley into the lead. Allison levelled again for the Cumbrians, but then Whitley took over, with Paul Chow scoring a hattrick.
Newton Aycliffe almost held out for a valuable point at Shildon, but lost 2-1.
Aycliffe were the better team in the first half, and took the lead when Fred Woodhouse fired into the top corner.
They could have added further goals until Shildon improved, and the home side levelled when Chris McCabe headed a free kick into the path of Richard Flynn to head the equaliser. Adam Johnston hit a late 35-yard free kick past Aycliffe keeper Scott Pocklington.
Durham City had a 4-2 home win over Hebburn, who took the lead through Callum Charlton. Connor Winter levelled for Durham with a 30- yarder into the top corner after 47 minutes.
Gary Shaw put Durham into the lead from a rebound on 55 minutes then fired another with ten minutes left.
Dan Madden deflected a Tony Stephenson shot into his own net, but Winter made the game safe.
Billingham Town are third bottom after losing 3-1 at Celtic Nation, who took an early lead through Michael Reed. Town levelled with a Micky Dunwell penalty before Reed restored CN’s lead from the edge of the box. At the end Town were caught pushing for an equaliser when Nathan Porritt broke away and scored the third.
South Shields are in danger of being cast adrift at the bottom after they lost 4-1 at Billingham Synthonia.
Shields led through a Sean Sweeney header, but Nathan Wilson levelled from the spot after Chay Liddle was fouled.
Jamie Blyth made it 2-1 on 37 minutes from a Danny Newby assist, and Nathan Jameson made it 3-1 with a deflected shot. Synners could have had more, before Newby got the fourth from an Andy Jennings pass.
Second division leaders Ryhope CW suffered only their third defeat of the season when they were beaten 3-1 at home by Tow Law.
Lawyers led through a strike by Luke Parkinson on 30 minutes, then Steven Turnbull made it 2-0 from the spot. Daniel Wilson got the third before Jonny Butler pulled a late goal back.
Second-placed Northallerton edged closer to Ryhope CW with a 5-3 win at Thornaby, but only by scoring twice in the last five minutes.
Northallerton trailed to goals by their former player Gary Mitchell and Rocky Andrews after 25 minutes, but Wayne Gredziak headed them back into the game just on half-time. Gredziak struck twice more at the start of the second half, but five minutes from the end Mitchell equalised. That seemed to be enough until Stephen Butterworth and Adam Emson found the net for relieved Northallerton Some Darlington fans who boycotted the Quakers’ game went to Darlington RA instead, but they didn’t see any goals in a 0-0 draw against Chester-le-Street. There weren’t many chances in the game, but there were two red cards, for Gavin Swankie of the RA and Michael Hepplewhite of Chester-le-Street.
Crook Town are just a point off the promotion places after they beat Ryton 5-0 at the Millfield.
Warren Byrne was in unstoppable form for Crook, scoring the first three goals to take his league tally to 11, with Robbie Bird and David Paul scoring the others.
Whitehaven went fourth with a 3-2 defeat win at Esh Winning. Craig Mickle put Esh into the lead, but Kevin Law levelled, with Kevin Connelly and Darren Donald adding further goals before Lewis Wing struck.
Jarrow Roofing scored twice in the last five minutes to win 2-1 at Birtley. The home side led on 75 minutes with a goal by Daniel Hepplewhite, but Andy Appleby equalised and former Birtley player Danny Smart got the winner.
North Shields are steadily creeping up the table under manager Graeme Fenton, and they enjoyed a 7-2 home win over Seaham Red Star.
They were 4-0 up inside 40 minutes with goals by Rob Nolan, Paul Watson, Dean Holmes and James Harmison.
Mark Catcheside pulled a goal back, but Shields then went 6- 1 up through Nolan and Michael McKeown. Seaham got another through Ivan Stoyanov, but Keith Douglas scored a seventh.
Washington had a 3-2 home win over Brandon. Ross Atkinson gave Washington the lead, before Mark Bell equalised. Washington went 3-1 up through Jake Leighton and Michael Rush, but Glen Hendrix pulled one back.
Stokesley swopped places with Horden thanks to a 2-1 win at the Welfare Ground.
Gary Redman and Ross Hodgson put Stokesley 2-0 up before new signing Lee Bishop pulled a goal back for Horden.
Whitby are out of the FA Trophy after a 7-0 thrashing at Guiseley, while in the Evo- Stik League, Blyth drew 2-2 at Grantham, coming back to level twice through Ryan Mc- Gorrigan and Damon Mullen.