It was a stroll in the park for Spennymoor Town, who are hell-bent on regaining the championship they relinquished last season after finishing top in three successive years.
Mind you, Penrith didn’t do themselves any favours at the Brewery Field. It is difficult enough playing Jason Ainsley’s side with 11 men – never mind nine.
The Cumbrians went down to 10 players on 27 minutes when goalkeeper Josh Richardson was red-carded for handling outside the box.
Tom Newton took over and within three minutes he was picking the ball out of the net from Lewis Dodds.
Liam Henderson and Sonny Andrews made it three before Penrith had Curtis Wood dismissed just 10 minutes into the second half. Dan Taylor then fired in goal number four to help keep Moors in the mix. Celtic Nation are out in front and they did their goals difference a power of good when they hit Hebburn Town for six, courtesy of Colin McMenamin with a hat-trick, Mattie Grieve, James Patterson and Jonathan Allen.
Hebburn had Kris Summers sent off when his side trailed by four goals.
Shildon are second but their championship drive hit the rails when they were held to a goalless draw at fourth-top Guisborough Town.
Mathematically, they too are in contention and West Auckland Town haven’t given up challenge - but the fact they still have 14 games to play, in addition to at least one game in the FA Carlsberg Vase, could work against them.
The battle at the bottom to avoid joining Billingham Town and Hebburn Town in Division Two next season goes on.
The four teams immediately above the doomed pair failed to claim a point between them.
Team Northumbria stay third from the basement after going down to leading scorers Consett, who have now racked up 105 goals following strikes by Luke Sullivan (2), Scott Martindale and Aristote Guerin Lakonga. Peter Watling replied late in the game.
Bedlington Terriers’ survival fight was not helped when Bishop Auckland comfortably won thanks to strikes from Chris Lawson, Danny Brunskill and John Butler.
Sunderland RCA are another team in trouble after going down to Ashington for whom Marc Walton scored both goals, including the 88th-minute winner. Kyle Fryatt had levelled for the Wearsiders.
Morpeth Town are the other side in the bottom six.
Defeat at Crook Town, whose match-winners were Kyle Davis and Richard Hodgson, means the Northumbrians are not yet safe. A number of sides at the bottom of Division One are looking over their shoulders, but in the Second Division North Shields are on the up. They clinched promotion with victory against Chester-le-Street at the Daren Persson Stadium.
Following a goalless first half, ace marksman Gareth Bainbridge broke the deadlock - scoring his 53rd goal of the season.
Dean Holmes made it two and Michael Tait put the game beyond the reach of the Cestrians with his late strike.
West Allotment Celtic strengthened their claims to join the Robins in the top flight but were taken to the wire by lowly Brandon United before claiming three crucial points.
Ian Dunn and Robbie Nolan fired them into a two-goal cushion inside 17 minutes, but when Andrew Blackburn replied just before the interval Celtic had a game on their hands. Third-top Seaham Red Star dropped two points at Whitehaven, for whom Arthur Pears scored an 80th minute equaliser after Adam Johnston had converted a penalty.
Jarrow Roofing boss Richie McLoughlin anticipated a difficult game at Washington - and his prediction was spot on.
The Newtowners, who were bottom of the table with one point from 10 games, are the most improved side and goals by Mark Davison (2), David Southern and Chris Winn dented Roofing’s promotion hopes.
Andrew Appleby and Dan Kirkup responded for Roofing.
Heaton Stannington, with games in hand on their rivals, are also pushing for a top-three finish.
Their chances were enhanced with an easy win at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, where Gary Dixon, Ryan Dodsworth, Lee Johnson and Dean Deagle all scored.