Fishburn Park shrugged off a phantom red card controversy to ease their relegation fears with victory over New Marske on Saturday.
Fishburn started brightly and had the ball in the net after three minutes, only for the goal to be disallowed for a marginal offside against James Organ-Simpson.
Both teams came close to taking the lead on several occasions but the most controversial decision came as half-time approached.
Park striker Jake Faicheny was put clean through only to be brought down from behind, although the referee and assistant agreed it was a sending off.
Neither could identify the culprit though Park were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area, with Matty Towey firing over the crossbar with the game remaining goalless at half-time.
Fishburn broke the deadlock on the hour when Organ-Simpson hooked home from 12 yards. The game remained even until five minutes from time when the New Marske goalkeeper was dismissed for deliberate handball outside the area.
This time, Towey made sure with a superb free-kick, giving the stand-in keeper no chance to seal the points for the home side.
A special mention goes to veterans Ben Libbey, who was outstanding in defence and substitute Allan Price, returning after two years out of the game.
Guisborough Globe 0 Staithes Athletic 5
Staithes Athletic made it three wins in a row since the new year with a convincing win against the Globe in difficult conditions.
Staithes started the match the better of the two teams but the final killer pass let the visitors down in the first quarter of the game.
But midway through the half, Ryan Thompson exchanged passes with Tony Lannon before firing the ball into the bottom corner of the net to put Staithes ahead.
The visitors pressed forward for a second and 10 minutes before the break, Staithes were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box and Lannon curled the ball over the wall to make it 2-0 at half-time.
In the second half, the home team showed a lot of spirit and were unlucky not to pull a goal back, hitting the post and also having an effort cleared off the line in quick succession.
But Staithes gradually began to exert their authority on the half and Lannon showed great tenacity to beat the keeper and defender to the ball and make it 3-0 on the hour.
Ryan Thompson scored his second and Staithes fourth on 78 minutes to wrap the game up and Steve Starsmore scored his 14th league goal of the season in the dying minutes to complete a comfortable 5-0 win that move Staithes up to fourth in the Teesside League’s second division.
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