Cullercoats U21s travelled to near neighbours Forest Hall on Sunday for a top of the table clash in the Northumberland U21 League.
The home side made the crucial breakthrough in the first half after a corner resulted in a shot towards the corner of the Cullercoats goal which bobbled up into the air and evaded the defender on the line.
Cullercoats then created several opportunities, with one effort being tipped over the bar and another headed off the line from an Elliot Mitchell header from a corner.
However, it was Forest Hall who increased their lead before the break with a well dispatched header direct from a corner to make it 2-0 to the home side.
A defensive error immediately after the re-start appeared to put the game beyond Cullercoats, however, the visitors continued to drive forward and pulled a goal back when Martin Cobley dispatched an excellent finish into the top corner of the home goal.
Cullercoats pushed hard for another goal to put pressure on the home side, but Forest Hall held out to win the game 3-1.
The result closed the gap at the top to just two points, with Forest Hall having crucial games in hand.
Cullercoats U21s next game is against Cullercoats Doves on Sunday, March 27.