Shildon moved back to the top of the table with a last-gasp winner at Sunderland RCA, who looked to have done enough to claim a point.
Dan Wray gave them a 17th-minute lead, heading home from a corner - and it wasn’t until midway during the second period Ben Wood delivered a clinical finish for the equaliser.
With the game into the last minute, Wood slid the ball past Jonathan Carmichael from close range.
Spennymoor Town, 4-0 winners at Gateshead Leam Rangers in the Durham Challenge Cup when Dan Taylor (2), Liam Henderson and Chris Mason struck, have slipped back to second place but have three games in hand on Shildon.
Much-fancied Celtic Nation stormed to victory over Marske United and remain third, just a point behind the leading pair. Johnny Allen, with a hat-trick, Willie Gibson and Nicky Wray scored inside 26 second-half minutes.
Top-five sides Dunston UTS and Ashington shared the points.
Andrew Johnson netted on 19 minutes before Danny Craggs deservedly levelled for UTS with an equally clinical finish.
West Auckland Town are sixth and remain the only unbeaten side. They won a scrappy game at Whitley Bay courtesy of Mattie Moffat and Dennis Knight.
At the other end of the table, Hebburn Town remain bottom. Despite taking the lead through Mark Costello, they lost for the 14th time as Newton Aycliffe replied with goals by Jamie Owens (2) and Michael Gibson.
Troubled Billingham Town are second from the basement. They fielded only eight men in the Durham Challenge Cup tie at Stockton Town and were humiliated 14-0. Team Northumbria produced the result of the day to ease their relegation concerns.
Newcastle Benfield were firm favourites but Phil Lumsden and Dan Riley fired Team into a two-goal lead and it wasn’t until added time Chris Carr replied.
Morpeth Town, who are just ahead of Team on goal difference, also enjoyed a good result when they defeated Durham City thanks to Michael Chilton, who scored both goals. Scott Fenwick equalised for the Citizens.
A spirited fightback earned Bedlington Terriers a point at Penrith, who looked to have the game won when they led through Phil Storey and Martin Coleman until four minutes from time.
Dylan Williamson threw Terriers a lifeline and a minute from the end John Mellish clinched the equaliser.
Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, who prop up the Second Division, upset the formbook by holding leaders Heaton Stannington to a draw.
Lee Johnson fired Heaton ahead, a lead they held for 80 minutes until Paul Basey levelled in the 88th minute.
Northallerton Town are second following victory over Thornaby with strikes by Christian Holliday, Darren Kokes and Colin Anderson. Craig Winter and David Wells replied for Thornaby who were in with a chance until the final whistle.
West Allotment Celtic left it late before defeating Brandon United with an 84th-minute strike by Shaun Reid.
Michael Bell gave Celtic a first-minute lead but within five minutes Alex Wilson equalised.
North Shields remain fourth despite losing at Chester-le-Street who stretched an unbeaten sequence to seven games. Their matchwinners were Andrew Grant Soulsby and Stephen Telford with Danny Smart on target for the Robins.
An only goal by Adam Johnson proved enough for fifth-placed Seaham Red Star at home to Whitehaven.
Norton and Stockton Ancients moved to sixth when Gary Mitchell, Shaun Lambert and Michael Jamieson were the matchwinners against Darlington RA.
Esh Winning, who lost to Tow Law Town for whom Robbie Hurton scored both goals, are second bottom - a point ahead of Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.
Washington are third from the basement following a creditable draw at Jarrow Roofing, where at one stage they led 3-1 thanks to David Southern, Paul Kane (pen) and Paul Wardle.
Paul Gardiner opened the scoring for Roofing, whose later marksmen were Stephen Young and Dean Nicholson (pen).