While the region was once again hit with bad weather, New Hartley Juniors’ match at Willington went ahead and the long trip paid off as they returned with all three points.
A tight game was expected with Willington having won the last three games when the two sides have met, including a 1-0 win at New Hartley in August.
Hartley’s Adam Bains opened the scoring midway through the first half with Nick Jarvie Smith doubling the lead before the break to send them two up at half-time.
In the second half it was that man Bains again to make it 3-0 with the striker now netting 18 in 19 games.
The game seemed all over, but Willington had other ideas and fought back through Keiron Douglas then Dan McLeish score to make it 3-2.
But with 15 minutes to go an Elliott Tate corner was flicked on by Adam Gourlay and debut boy James Loughborough prodded home to give Hartley a 4-2 lead and the win.
Hartley defender Tom Devitt started for England schoolboys in their recent 5-0 win over Australia, with former midfielder Dean Briggs, now with Ashington, scoring twice.
And former Hartley defender Dan Burn made great strides for Fulham by staring against Manchester United and Liverpool, where he faced Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danial Sturridge and Louis Suarez all within a few days.
Hartley have no game next Saturday with another long trip to Darlington next up.