Match Report: Gainsborough Trinity 1-1 South Shields
South Shields suffered late disappointment as a header five minutes into second half stoppage time denied them maximum points at Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday.
The Mariners were on course to move level on points with Pitching In Northern Premier League leaders Buxton until Stefan Galinski’s equaliser at the death.
Dillon Morse had headed Shields into a first half lead but the away side were unable to hang on as they remained two points off the top with four league matches remaining.
In-form Darius Osei was a key part of the Shields frontline and he had the first opportunity of the game, sending a powerful half-volley into the side netting after controlling a Robert Briggs pass with his chest.
The hosts had a decent chance of their own when Cameron Johnson linked up with Jovon Makama before scooping a shot wide from 12 yards.
There was little in the way of clear-cut openings from either side, though the Mariners did look the more threatening outfit and after Blair Adams dragged an effort wide from the left of the area, they found the breakthrough from a set-piece 10 minutes before half-time.
Briggs floated an inviting corner to the back post and Morse headed it down and into the net to hand Shields a lead they would carry into the break comfortably.
A response was expected from the home side after the interval and Gainsborough delivered that. They went close within five minutes of the restart when Morgan Worsfold-Gregg teased in a delivery from the left which just evaded a touch and dropped narrowly wide.
Myles Boney kept out a volley from Galinski but was beaten by a low strike from Johnson which whistled inches past the post.
Trinity were generating momentum but Shields held firm, with Gainsborough mainly restricted to efforts from distance. One of them came from substitute Jack Gibson and was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Boney.
Osei had a good chance to effectively make the points safe, but his shot from close range cleared the crossbar.
Gainsborough pressurised their visitors in the closing stages, with Makama denied by a brilliant block from Jack Bodenham and then hitting the post with a free-kick from 20 yards three minutes into stoppage time. The resulting scramble was eventually cleared.
Shields will have hoped that was the stroke of luck they needed to see the game out, but it was not to be.
With almost the last action of the match, Worsfold-Gregg curled in a free-kick from 15 yards outside the Shields box and Galinski rose highest to nod it into the bottom corner and seal Gainsborough a point.
It was a bitter blow for the Mariners but with four games remaining, they remain very much in the title race.
They will aim to boost their chances when they host Stalybridge Celtic next Saturday.
South Shields: Boney, Hunter, Adams (c), Shaw, Morse, Bodenham, Wilding, Briggs, Hodgson (Hooper 67), McGowan (Jenkins 48), Osei (Main 84). Subs not used: Kempster, Tee.
Goal: Morse (35).
Image: Kev Wilson.