THE unpredictability of football was never more evident than at Cleator Moor Celtic on Saturday when Peterlee Town enjoyed an amazing nine-goal romp.
The Newtowners travelled with a severely depleted squad, missing 12 players, and were very much the underdogs against top-six opponents.
They named only 12 players, including manager Paul Frame, but from the moment they scored after just three minutes, the floodgates remained open and the goals flowed from Rhys Weir and Adam Heath, with hat-tricks, Brett Gillatt (2) and Nick Doyle.
Willington, aiming to return to the Ebac Northern League following a long absence, remain in the driving seat following a crucial win over Richmond Town, who started the game in second place. The only goal came 10 minutes from time when substitute Rhys Marshall scored with his very first touch of the ball.
Willington are now 10 points ahead of Stockton Town, who moved up a place when they defeated Jarrow courtesy of Joe Hinchley, Tom Coulthard and Kallum Hannah.
Silksworth Rangers, beaten by Ashbrooke Belford House on Friday night, stay bottom and Annfield Plain are just above them – although with a seven-point cushion.
Ross Nicholson was a first-half scorer for the Plain, but Wolviston produced a strong second-half rally which was rewarded with goals by James Myers (2) and Ryan Hebb.
Gateshead Leam Rangers were ahead until the last minute at Kirkbymoorside, who won by the odd goal in five. Chris Rhodes fired the Yorkshiremen ahead but a brace by Chris Lowther had Leam in front for 50 minutes until Jonathan Brown levelled on 90 minutes and deep into added time, Jordan Rivis struck the winner.