Newton Aycliffe suffered a crushing record defeat as they crashed at home to second bottom club Billingham Town.
The defeat compounds a miserable start to the campaign which the club has endured, but spirit in the camp remains positive.
Goalkeeper Scott Pocklington saw red for a professional foul just before half-time, and with the score already at 2-0, there was no way back for the hosts.
Fledgling reserve ‘keeper Ryan Farley stepped up to the mark, and made a string of top drawer saves – including a penalty – as he debuted for his hometown club at the tender age of 17.
Aycliffe started brighter than their opponents, and top scorer Danny Earl almost hooked them ahead when he beat ‘keeper Dan Molyneux to a long ball but saw his 20-yard effort cannon back off the crossbar.
Stephen Flockett and Craig Perry capitalised on two errors in the Aycliffe box, to deliver a double hammer-blow on 25 and 26 minutes, both netting from close range.
Pocklington saw red when he failed to deal with a long ball towards his area, and was adjudged to have felled Nick Martin with the interval looming.
Farley came on and with his first touch, saved Darlington target Jamie Owen’s spot-kick, but as Aycliffe failed to clear their lines, Perry rifled home his second on the stroke of half time.
The second half was one-way traffic as Owens completed a marvellous hattrick, complemented by further goals from Craig Norman and James Middleton as Aycliffe had no answer with their one man handicap.
Skipper Sean Tarling almost scored a late consolation but saw Middleton handily placed on the line to clear his goal bound left-foot effort.
Team: Pocklington, Winskill, Owen, Tarling, Craddock, Peck, Woodhouse, Butterworth, Earl, Knox, Hughes. Subs used: Mellanby, Hinchley, R Farley. Unused: Broom, Young.