HARTLEPOOL upset the form book in a big way when they defeated Ebac Northern League First Division side Billingham Synthonia to reach the third round of the Durham Challenge Cup.
Pool, who are just below mid-table in the Wearside League, were full value for their victory.
With the wind against them, they defended in depth during the opening half and then took advantage of the elements. Craig Hutchinson broke the deadlock on 48 minutes, sliding a low shot past debutant goalkeeper Joe Laverick and two minutes from time Mattie Kelsey claimed the crucial second goal.
Pool now have home advantage over another ENL First Division side Shildon.
Easington Colliery also saw off ENL opponents in West Auckland Town who are second top in Division One.
When Matty Moffat bagged a brace of goals in the opening 23 minutes, it looked as if the Colliers would make their exit from the competition but they roared back and by the hour mark were level courtesy of Luke Page and Shaun Smith.
The tie went into extra time and it was Easington who celebrated when Smith converted a penalty awarded for a foul on Brian Norton.
Horden CW remain second in the Wearside League after comfortably defeating lowly Gateshead Leam Rangers.
The result was just about settled inside the opening 25 minutes by which time the Colliers led with goals by Michael Patterson (2) and Luke Wilson. Early in the second period Chris Tarn added a fourth goal.
Seaton Carew’s long losing sequence came to an end at Annfield Plain where they won a five goals thriller by the odd goal.
Michael Markwell, James Paylor and Adam Walton (og) were their marksmen with Anthony Telfer and Warren Brown keeping the home side in the game until the final whistle.
Norton and Stockton Ancients claimed a crucial victory in the top three clash with Washington and are now second in Division Two of the Ebac Northern League.
Nicky Martin gave Norton a 21st minute lead and after Mark Davison levelled midway during the second period Marcus Laing clinched the winner and Norton are now five points behind leaders Seaham Red Star, the teams having played the same number of games.
Billingham Town edged Ryhope CW by the odd goal in three.
Callum Brown drove into the net on 15 minutes but it was all to play for until Alan Taylor added a second goal five minutes before the final whistle.
In the last minute Ryhope managed a consolation goal as a defender put the ball into his own net during a goalmouth scramble.
Hartlepool (stripes) V Billingham Synthonia