ANNFIELD Plain couldn’t halt Richmond Town’s challenge for the title – but for 70 minutes an upset was on the cards.
The hosts held their free-scoring opponents and then took a 36th-minute lead through Ross Nicholson – which they maintained until 20 minutes from the end.
From then on, though, it was one-way traffic and the Plain were hit with a six-goal blitz from Mark Simms (4), Callum Holbrook and Shaun Radford. Annfield did manage a second goal from Joe Johnson.
Richmond, who are third-top 12 points behind leaders Willington with two games in hand, reached a milestone by becoming the first side to score 100 goals.
Just one goal by Adam Pinkney proved sufficient for Willington at Kirkbymoorside, while second-placed Stockton Town maintained their challenge with victory at Gateshead Leam Rangers courtesy of strikes by Tom Atkinson (2) and Tom Coulthard.
Prudhoe Town are ending the season on a high and cemented eighth place when Steve Foster’s strike on 15 minutes proved sufficient against Ashbrooke Belford House.
Sunderland West End edged the Wearside derby with Silksworth Rangers when Adam McQuillan struck the only goal with a curling shot past goalkeeper Joe Clayton.
Jarrow conceded a late winner at Hartlepool, who arrested a losing sequence.
Twice behind to a brace by David Laight, Jarrow hit back through Nick Payne and Grant Pressling but, just when it looked as if they had a point, Danny Maughan hit the winner.
Harton and Westoe were well beaten by Peterlee Town, whose marksmen were Richard Maughan, Brett Gillatt, Callum Mordey and Nick Doyle.