WITH the scores level after 51 minutes, neutral observers wouldn’t have bet on Whitley Bay defeating Penrith even though the Cumbrians were reduced to 10 men just before the interval, Willie Paul sent off.
But the Seahorses added five goals in 33 minutes to their first-half three.
In the opening period, Lee Kerr, Ash Davis and James Fairley struck for Bay with Andrew Murray-Jones and Scott Allison (2) on target for Penrith.
But then the Bay goals flooded in via Brad Brooking, Lee Paul Scroggins (pen) and substitute Paul Chow who rifled a hat-trick in 25 minutes.
The Seahorses remain fourth and Darlington 1883 are still out in front although their lead has been trimmed to four points following a defeat at West Auckland Town, thanks to a last-gasp John Campbell penalty.
The turning point in the game, watched by a bumper crowd of 502, came 10 minutes into the second half when the Quakers’ Darren Richardson was sent off. Despite their numerical disadvantage the leaders went in front with a Stephen Thompson penalty and after Stuart Banks levelled, a draw looked likely until West were handed a spot-kick in the 92nd minute.
Spennymoor Town were another side to play for a long period with only 10 men, Lewis Dodds dismissed in the 40th minute at Marske United.
The Seasiders twice led via Yale and Karl Charlton but Moors claimed all three points thanks to Gavin Cogden (2) and Michael Laws.
Bedlington Terriers are third but 12 points adrift of Spennymoor after losing at Consett, for whom Scott Martindale scored the only goal in first-half added time.
West Auckland are fifth and Ashington moved into sixth place when they hit Sunderland RCA for six.
Five of the goals came in the first 35 minutes from Marc Walton, Glen Taylor, Mark O’Dea, Paul Antony and Andrew Johnson. Early in the second half Taylor completed the rout.
At the other end of the table, South Shields are bottom. Despite scoring first through Sean Sweeney they succumbed to Billingham Synthonia, for whom Nathan Wilson (pen), Jamie Blyth, Nathan Jameson and Danny Newby struck.
Durham City moved further away from the relegation zone with victory over Hebburn Town. Gary Shaw and Connor Winter each bagged a brace, Callum Charlton and Dan Madden (og), on the mark for the South Tynesiders.
A draw was a fair result when neither Bishop Auckland nor Dunston UTS managed to score and a Liam McWilliams penalty eight minutes from time denied Team Northumbria, who led for a long period courtesy of Peter Watling, maximum points against Guisborough Town.
Shaun Clarke scored twice but was sent off in the 83rd minute as Norton and Stockton Ancients eased their relegation worries at the expense of Newcastle Benfield, whose only success was credited to Callum Wilson, who found the net at both ends.
Tow Law Town produced the shock of the day in Division Two when they defeated leaders Ryhope CW on Wearside.
Owen Parkinson, Stephen Turnbull and Daniel Wilson had the Lawyers well ahead before John Butler claimed a late consolation.
Northallerton Town are second after going nap at Thornaby with strikes from Wayne Gredziak (3), Glen Butterworth and Adam Emson.
At one stage, the home side were two goals up through Gary Mitchell and Rocky Andrews but despite Mitchell scoring again, Thornaby went down and are now third from bottom.
Chester-le-Street held third-top Darlington RA to a goalless draw. In added time, RA’s Gavin Swankie and the Cestrians’ Michael Hepplewhite were dismissed.
Alnwick Town are still at the basement but will be encouraged following victory at Whickham with a last-ditch goal from Ben Keenan. Daniel Thompson and Tony Brown were also on the score sheet with Tony Thirkell claiming both the Whickham goals.
Warren Byrne, with a hat-trick, Robbie Bird and David Paul swept Crook Town to victory at home to Ryton and Crawcrook Albion and North Shields hammered Seaham Red Star with a seven-goal blitz.
Paul Watson, Dean Holmes, Robert Nolan (2), James Harmison, Michael McKeown and Keith Douglas enjoyed a romp with Mark Catcheside and Ian Stoyanov replying.
Two goals in the last three minutes from Andrew Appleby and Daniel Smart were pivotal to Jarrow Roofing’s win at Birtley Town, who led through Daniel Hepplewhite, while Ross Atkinson, Jack Leighton and Michael Rush netted in Washington’s win over Brandon United, whose two goals were credited to Mark Bell and Glen Hendricks.