Match Report: South Shields 0-1 Basford United
A goal in first half stoppage time condemned South Shields to a first home defeat of the season as Basford United took maximum points at 1st Cloud Arena.
Matt Thornhill headed in what proved to be the only goal as the Mariners endured a frustrating afternoon against resolute opponents.
Although Shields started the game with a period of possession, it was Basford who initially made more of an impression in forward areas, with Declan Dunn shooting wide from distance and Will McGowan forced to block from Terry Hawkridge before Rev James fired wide from a Dom Roma cross.
The Mariners wrestled control after that and had their first sight of goal as Robert Briggs skewed a shot wide from outside the area after being teed up by Blair Adams.
That was the signal for a series of attacks from the hosts, who will have felt they should have converted their chances into at least one goal.
Conor Tee almost opened the scoring with a stunning goal as he drifted inside from the left and sent an effort arrowing towards the bottom corner, only for goalkeeper Adam Collin to brilliantly tip it wide.
Dillon Morse’s header from a McGowan corner was then deflected before being cleared off the line, and Shields went closer still when Darius Osei’s header from another McGowan cross struck the crossbar.
An even bigger chance fell the way of Adams after terrific link-up play between Tee and McGowan, but the left-back powered his shot over from an inviting position as Basford breathed another sigh of relief.
The Mariners had two strong penalty appeals for handball waved away as their impressive spell continued but their momentum was halted when Hawkridge suffered a serious ankle injury, resulting in a delay of around 10 minutes as he received treatment before being stretchered off.
Within a minute of the restart, Shields found themselves behind as Thornhill stooped to head in a corner from Ryan Wilson from close range.
The home side went in at the break a goal behind, despite Tee threatening an equaliser 10 minutes into stoppage time with a strike from distance which Collin did well to hold.
The Mariners started the second half brightly and Osei almost conjured a tremendous opportunity for Alex Kempster as he dug out a cross from the left of the area, but he was just unable to get clean contact on his header.
With Basford defending resolutely, chances were hard to come by as the match progressed, with the hosts mainly restricted to strikes from distance.
Briggs curled a free-kick over and Dan Martin was off target from 20 yards after space opened up for him.
A better opportunity went the way of Briggs as Kempster fired in a superb cross from the left, but he headed wide at the back post.
Shields were almost level with four minutes remaining when Tee’s corner from the left picked out Jack Bodenham and his header went inches over the bar.
Blair Rossiter was bright after being introduced as a second half substitute and he was unfortunate not to equalise as he came inside from the right and fired a low effort which Collin brilliantly tipped wide.
Another chance came and went when Kempster picked out another substitute, Callum Stead, but he was unable to convert from close range.
Basford held out to claim maximum points as Shields remained second in the Pitching In Northern Premier League table.
They will aim to return to winning ways when they host Morpeth Town on Tuesday.
South Shields: Boney, Martin, Adams (c) (Lowe 60), Ross (Stead 82), Morse, Bodenham, Tee, Briggs, Osei, McGowan (Rossiter 60), Kempster. Subs not used: Shaw, Hodgson.
Image: Kev Wilson.