A Ben Dibb-Fuller brace laid the foundation for a fantastic 5-1 win as Team Northumbria maintained their two-point lead at the top of the Northern League’s second division.
The in-form striker returned to his Tyne Valley roots to deliver yet another attacking masterclass at Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.
And although the hosts became the first team to breach goalkeeper Steven Mundy’s goal since August 13 this was another emphatic performance from the promotion hopefuls.
TN have now hit 38 goals in just nine league games and head into Saturday’s FA Vase tie at Carlisle City with a goal difference of +35.
Second-placed Stockton Town and third-placed Whickham Town both bagged comfortable 3-0 wins to stay snapping at TN’s heels.
But manager Colin Stromsoy must be delighted with his side’s faultless start to the season as TN bid to make it third time lucky in their quest to regain top flight status.
"Ryton away is always a challenging place to go as with the greatest of respect to the club the pitch really is in a poor condition and acts as a leveller. They are also a very well organised team and hard to break down.
I was therefore delighted with our performance and 5-1 win to keep our excellent start of the campaign going. We did concede for the first time in seven games which was disappointing but I am enormously proud of achieving six clean sheets in a row. What great a reflection of this tremendous group of lads, none more so than Steven Mundy, Ross McKeown and Robbie Grainey at the heart of our defence.
Despite that disappointment, our second half performance was outstanding. Fluid and invasive going forwards and organised and determined defensively. A well deserved three points that gives us further confidence as we approach our next game against Carlisle City away in the FA vase."
Dibb-Fuller broke the deadlock after just three minutes as the ambitious visitors looked set to maintain their free scoring form.
But the hosts – without a league win at home this season – hit back to end TN’s six-game streak without conceding.
Goalkeeper and skipper Mundy went into the clash with three successive away clean sheets but Ryton went in level at the break.
A strong start to the second half saw Dibb-Fuller bag his ninth Division Two goal of the campaign.
And teenager Aidan Heywood fired the visitors 3-1 up after an hour as the league leaders began to exert control.
Moments later Eddie Keenan was dismissed and there was no way back for the 10 men of Ryton.
Ryan Redford made it 4-1 to TN before close-season capture Dan Taggart bagged his side’s fifth in the 89th minute.