South Shields took advantage of a lightning quick start as they made it 10 wins in a row by thumping Esh Winning 4-0.
Lewis Teasdale opened the scoring within a minute for the Mariners, and added the third after Ben Riding had made it 2-0.
Julio Arca wrapped things up with a trademark free-kick towards the end as Shields moved five points clear at the top of Ebac Northern League Division Two with a ninth clean sheet in 10 games.
Shields made the perfect start to the game as they took the lead within 60 seconds. Riding’s ball forward was headed back to Arca 35 yards out, and he played it through for Andrew Bulford. First time, the striker sent it over the top for Teasdale to run onto, and he made no mistake as he swept it past the goalkeeper with the outside of his right foot.
The visitors were dominant in front of an away following thought to be over 150, and almost went 2-0 ahead when home goalkeeper Mark Connell fumbled a low cross from Adam Sakr before grasping the ball at the second opportunity.
Shields did not have to wait too long for their second, though, and it came in slightly fortuitous circumstances.
Adam Curry threw the ball in for Riding 30 yards out on the left, and his cross flew over the head of the goalkeeper before nestling in the opposite corner.
The Mariners looked like running riot, and Daryll Hall headed over from a corner before the third goal arrived in the 19th minute.
Arca collected the ball after a corner was sent back to him, and he did incredibly well to roll it past his man and cut inside before smashing an effort against the crossbar. The ball bounced back to Teasdale, who slammed in the rebound for his fourth goal for the club.
Shields looked like scoring with every attack, and Riding was denied by an impressive save from Connell after being picked out by Hall’s cross.
A later counter-attack saw Teasdale cross for Arca, and the Argentinean pulled it back to Scroggins, who smashed a shot which was excellently palmed over by Connell.
Hall had a goal ruled out for a foul and Bulford saw a penalty appeal waved away, while the hosts had their first shot two minutes before half-time, but Adam Smith curled the free-kick harmlessly over.
At the break, David Foley replaced Sakr, and it did not take long for Shields to reassert their dominance.
Wayne Phillips led a lightning quick counter and then found Foley, whose cross from the right was headed over by Teasdale.
Teasdale continued to be thwarted in his quest for a hat-trick, and his next opportunity came when Bulford picked him out with a superb cross, but he could only divert it wide.
Foley was looking sharp on the right flank, and some terrific play from the former Hartlepool United man saw him dribble his way through before finding Teasdale, who hit it wide.
Arca, Hall and Foley were denied by Connell, and Teasdale just failed to control a cross from Phillips before the Mariners did find goal number four.
It came 11 minutes from the end with a brilliant swish of Arca’s left boot.
He lined up a central free-kick 25 yards out and curled a trademark effort in off the post as he notched his third goal for the Mariners.
Shields enjoyed much of the late possession as their domination of the game continued, but they kept the clean sheet they had been seeking and moved into a strong position ahead of Tuesday’s trip to second-placed Chester-le-Street Town.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Pocklington, Smith, Curry, Hall, Riding, Arca, Sakr (Foley 46), Scroggins (c) (Wightman 77), Bulford (Byrne 70), Teasdale, Phillips. Subs not used: Young, Turner.
Goals: Teasdale (1, 19), Riding (13), Arca (79).