Newton Aycliffe struck twice in the dying minutes to secure a 3-1 win away at Consett.
Fred Woodhouse grabbed his second of the contest in the 87th minute to put Aycliffe in the lead and substitute Sean Reay scored his first goal since re-joining the club two minutes later.
The win saw Allan Oliver’s side leapfrog Newcastle Benfield in the table. It is the first time the Royal Blues have been ahead of a team who have played the same amount of games since September.
Oliver brought back last season’s successful wingback formation and there were returns for John Close and Martin Young from injury. Tom Hinchley and Josh Knox started in the middle alongside Young with skipper Sean Tarling absent.
Aycliffe started slowly and were on the backfoot for the opening stages but created the first real opportunity on 23 minutes as Danny Earl dragged a shot wide after Hinchley had found him in the area.
Five minutes before the break Woodhous’s effort from the edge of the area forced a save out of Consett goalkeeper Chris Elliot.
But three minutes later the breakthrough arrived. Young forced the Steelmen to play back to their keeper and Earl harried Elliot into a rushed clearance that fell straight to Woodhouse who slotted into the net from close range.
Consett came close to a leveller before half-time but Scott Pocklington pulled off a brilliant save from Luke Sullivan’s free-kick.
Earl and Woodhouse combined well in the early stages of the second period but the former’s strike flew narrowly wide of the far post.
The home side were handed a penalty on the hour mark when Pocklington brought down Andrew Cuthbertson in the area, but Sullivan, who had scored four when the side’s met in the League Cup in September, dragged his spot-kick wide.
But 10 minutes later Pocklington’s goal was breached. David Scorer’s acrobatic volley was heading wide before Cuthbertson’s header diverted it into the net.
The game could have gone either way but it was the Newtonians who won the points.
With three minutes left Pocklington’s clearance was expertly held up by Reay and the former Darlington striker laid off Woodhouse who fired the ball past Elliot.
And two minutes later the win was secured as Hinchley did superbly to set up Reay who made no mistake with the finish.
The only downside to the win was the injury picked up by right-back Stephen Gibson, who could miss a month with a torn hamstring.