Hebburn Town’s poor away form continued on Saturday after they were well beaten 3-0 by Ryhope CW.
Ryhope closed in on Northern League Division Two leaders South Shields when they comfortably saw off the challenge from the Hornets.
It could have been a different story had Lee McMahon managed to take a couple of chances, but in the end the home side were too strong.
Former Hebburn striker Connor Winter put one over his old side when he found time and space to slot home on 15 minutes for the opener.
McMahon then had his first chance, but failed to equalise as he sliced his effort wide.
And after half an hour, former FA Vase-winning captain Leon Ryan rose above his marker Channon North and headed wide of goalkeeper Philip Holgate from a set-piece to double Ryhope’s advantage.
Just before half-time, McMahon had a great attempt to pull a goal back but Rookes in the home goal made a brilliant save.
In the second half, Hebburn continued to have more possession but were unable to break down a well-organised Ryhope defence, marshalled superbly by centre-half Ryan.
Hebburn lacked a cutting edge and manager Scott Oliver tried to force the issue by replacing North with Shaun Reay with 25 minutes to go.
And any hopes Hebburn harboured of saving the game all-but ended a few minutes from time as Winter struck again, converting from a free kick after his marker, Kris Summers, slipped.
It cemented a 3-0 victory that saw Hebburn remain in the bottom half of the division.
Afterwards, Oliver conceded that his side had been beaten by a better, more clinical side.
He said: “Ryhope were very good in both boxes.
“We were arguably the better team but they took all three points, with Leon Ryan outstanding.”
South Shields’ fixture at home to Crook Town was postponed, denying them the chance to extend their phenomenal winning run.
They are now four points clear of Chester-le-Street who were involved in a goalless draw with another of the promotion challengers, Billingham Synthonia.