South Shields continued their terrific run of form as they moved to the top of the league with a 3-0 win over Billingham Synthonia on Tuesday.
Shields were watched by another tremendous crowd of 703 at Mariners Park, and goals from Warren Byrne, Michael Turner and Lewis Teasdale sealed a ninth win in a row.
It was an impressively comfortable victory for the Mariners against a Synners side who had won their last six league games without conceding a goal.
Shields were in control from the start as they continued the feel-good factor from Saturday’s 4-0 win over Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, which was watched by a crowd of over 1,000.
Byrne – who was restored to the starting line-up for the game – scooped an effort wide after just 55 seconds after being picked out by Wayne Phillips.
Barrie Smith and Phillips were both denied by visiting goalkeeper Jack McLaren, while Adam Sakr struck a shot into the side netting as Shields continued to dominate.
Ben Riding’s bullet header from a Phillips corner was cleared off the line, and at the other end, Synthonia’s first chance came when Jamie Clarke turned on the edge of the box before firing well over.
His free-kick from the left later stung the palms of Scott Pocklington, but that was to be as close as the visitors got to breaching the Shields defence.
Byrne and Riding were the next to be denied for the Mariners, who finally took the lead five minutes before half-time.
Turner played the ball into Byrne just outside the box in the centre, and he controlled it before dribbling past three men and firing a superb shot into the opposite corner.
Sakr almost created a second soon after when his cross came close to being converted, but Shields went in at the break with a 1-0 advantage.
The Mariners gained control in the second half, too, and a quick break led to a blocked shot by Andrew Bulford and an effort from Smith which was deflected wide.
The hosts’ lead was doubled on 63 minutes when Phillips’ free-kick was met by a superb volley from Turner, and his effort took a slight deflection before nestling in the bottom corner.
David Foley was brought on and almost scored immediately from a free-kick, with his effort deflected over, and from the resulting corner, Byrne was denied.
The third goal for the home side came nine minutes before the end when Sakr made a strong run down the right and his cross was met by substitute Teasdale, whose first shot was parried before he converted the rebound.
Adam Curry – who had a superb performance at right-back – later slipped in Teasdale, who rolled the ball just past the post, but Shields had done more than enough already to move top of the league.
They travel to Esh Winning on Saturday as they look to make it 10 in a row.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Pocklington, Smith, Curry, Hall (c), Riding, Turner, Sakr, Wightman (Arca 72), Bulford (Foley 64), Byrne (Teasdale 74), Phillips. Subs not used: Young, Ramsey.
Goals: Byrne (40), Turner (63), Teasdale (81)