Easington Colliery came from behind to beat Silksworth CW 3-2 in a fitness-building friendly on Wednesday night.
Joe Kerridge gave the Colliers the lead in the 21st minute but Silksworth responded and then took the lead.
A combination of Aidan Goodey and Aaron Croft pulled Easington level and Liam Hodgson fired home the winner late on against his former club.
A squad of 17 made the trip up the A19 with 16 of them getting vital game time, including new signing Brennan Ball.
Manager Paul Frame decided to start with a strong side and gave a full ninety minutes to Kyle Donaldson, Chris Pearson, Luke Page, Jack Pounder, Goodey and Ball.
Despite Silksworth looking bright in the opening exchanges, it was Easington who created the first chance when Page found Peter Jones but he couldn’t connect with his volley as it was dragged wide.
Reece Kenney then had a couple of half chances, while clever link up play between Page and Pounder played Kerridge in but his effort darted just wide.
In the 19th minute, Silksworth almost broke the deadlock when a through ball cut open the Easington defence too easily but it bounced back off the post.
After Pounder had fired just wide of the top corner, Easington took the lead in the 21st minute through Kerridge. The former Newcastle United man closed down a kick from the Silksworth goalkeeper and the ball crashed against Kerridge.
He was quick to pick up possession and look up to send a fine delicate chip over the keeper and into the far corner.
Silksworth were forced to respond, and they did just that only two minutes later when they pulled level through an unfortunate own goal. Ball – who was impressive on his debut despite an own goal – looked to intercept a ball across the face of goal but all he could do was turn it into his own net and the hosts were level.
Eight minutes before half-time, superb link up play between Page and Jones found Kerridge but he was 0ff-balance and could only skew wide.
Jones then had a couple of goes himself but couldn’t find the target and with the final chance of the first half, Kerridge whipped an inch-perfect cross into the penalty area which only needed the slightest of touches but it wasn’t to be and the two sides went into the break level.
Easington made several changes for the second half with Liam Adamson, Brad Varga, Chris Freeman, Hodgson and Croft all being introduced.
Twelve minutes into the second half, both benches were left bemused as Pounder was fouled in the penalty area but the referee turned away what looked to be a clear penalty. And Easington would be made to pay for this as clever football saw Silksworth work the ball around for it to be slotted into the bottom corner, and the Wearside League outfit were ahead.
Falling behind seemed to spur Easington on and they started to play some attractive passing football. Pounder went close again; as did Goodey.
With 18 minutes left, Goodey’s shot was deflected behind for a corner, which eventually dropped for Hodgson but he could only stab over from six yards.
The Green Army’s pressure was to show though as they pulled level with 14 minutes still to play. Goodey’s direct inswinging corner may have crossed the line anyway, but Croft made sure when he stabbed home from the line.
Fitness was showing at this point and Silksworth were finding themselves chasing the ball as Easington passed it about. And in the 86th minute, the Colliers managed to carve out a winner when Hodgson collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area before beating his man and firing into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
It was a good work out for Easington who now prepare to host Billingham Synthonia in a 3pm Northern League clash on Saturday. Silksworth, meanwhile, host Harton and Westoe in the Wearside League, with kick off there being 2pm.