South Shields eased to a third win in a week as they triumphed 3-1 at Darlington RA.
The Mariners controlled the game, and goals from Lewis Teasdale, Adam Sakr and Barrie Smith moved them nine points clear at the top of Ebac Northern League Division Two.
Jon King’s side took less than three minutes to open the scoring.
Adam Sakr – restored to the side on the right flank – beat his man before his low cross was rolled into the net by Teasdale as he scored his fourth goal in three games.
Shields continued to dominate the early exchanges, and they went close to adding a second when Sakr’s cross was headed wide by Stephen Ramsey.
The next to go close was John Grey, with his excellent drive from 25 yards palmed away by home goalkeeper Philip Pentony, who then denied Sakr as he tried to power in a follow-up.
A cross from Sakr also whistled past the post, while Robert Briggs had a volley blocked and another effort saved.
It was all Shields, and Julio Arca had a shot from distance deflected wide before the hosts had their first effort, with Stephen Cheeseman first denied by Gareth Young and then having a shot deflected past the post after getting in on the inside-right of the box.
Normal service was soon resumed, with the Mariners on the attack.
Five minutes before half-time, Wayne Phillips beat his man on the left before his excellent cross was headed over by Teasdale.
After the break, Shields finally grabbed their second with 47 minutes on the clock.
Darlington RA gave the ball away at the back and presented it to Sakr, who made no mistake as he slotted home.
Teasdale thought he had added a third for Shields when he was played through on goal, but Pentony produced a fine one-handed save to deny him.
For the hosts, James Wilson went close with a free-kick, but Young did well to hold it, while at the other end, Ramsey’s effort went wide.
Shields introduced Mechack Kanda from the bench after he completed his move from Gateshead, and within three minutes of his introduction, his new team went 3-0 up.
Young punched away a home free-kick and the Mariners broke at speed, with Danny Carson driving them on before finding Teasdale.
Teasdale played in Smith on the inside-left of the box, and he rounded the goalkeeper before firing an effort that went in off a defender.
Shields were unable to keep a clean sheet, though, with RA responding almost instantly when Wilson was twice denied before John Grey fired into his own net.
Sakr has a great chance to make it four, but was denied by Pentony, while Phillips, Robert Briggs and Daryll Hall also went close.
At the other end, Young was commanding as the hosts were kept at bay and Shields saw out their 3-1 victory.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Young, Smith, Grey, Hassan (c), Riding, Arca (Carson 62), Sakr, Briggs, Ramsey (Kanda 68), Teasdale (Hall 84), Phillips. Subs not used: Pocklington, Turner.
Goals: Teasdale (3), Sakr (47), Smith (71).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.