Stephen Ramsey’s header handed South Shields a deserved victory in the Bank Holiday South Tyneside derby at Hebburn Town on Monday.
Ramsey’s third goal in three games arrived after 19 minutes, and was enough to send the Mariners back to the top of the Ebac Northern League Division Two table.
The Mariners dominated possession, and Ramsey had the first chance of the game, with his shot from six yards excellently blocked by Christopher Smith.
Ramsey also sent a header over after a superb cross from Adam Curry, while Jonny Wightman had a shot saved before former Mariner James Talbot drilled wide at the other end.
The hosts created a good opportunity soon after, but after good work from Talbot down the right, Channon North missed his cross, and Glen Hargrave then fired into the side netting.
Shields went ahead on 19 minutes when Robert Briggs lifted a free-kick into the box from 40 yards, and Ramsey got there first to head the ball up and over goalkeeper Phil Holgate from 10 yards.
Warren Byrne shot narrowly wide three minutes later after good work from Gilberto Chapim and Briggs, while at the other end, Shaun Reay could only fire wide after a pull-back from North.
Ramsey headed past the post from a Briggs corner, and Shields also started the second half strongly in front of a big travelling support at the Hebburn Sports and Social Ground.
Byrne had an effort blocked, while Holgate did well to smother a header from Lewis Galpin.
Wightman – who had a particularly impressive game – was the next to go close as he dribbled inside from the left before shooting just past the upright.
Byrne narrowly failed to convert a Wightman cross as Shields looked to put the game to bed, and substitute Aris Lokonga Guerin also sent a header wide late on.
Hebburn had struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities, with Shields goalkeeper Gareth Young not having a save to make.
The home side’s first real chance arrived on 90 minutes when Alan Pegram’s cross from the right was headed wide by substitute Kyle Morris.
Andrew McIntosh also drilled wide three minutes into stoppage time, but Young was again not tested as Shields claimed all three points.
The Mariners are next in action on Saturday, with Easington Colliery the visitors to Mariners Park for a 3pm kick-off.
HEBBURN TOWN: Holgate, Summers, Toward, Pegram, Smith, Scott, Talbot (Feasey 66), Malley, Reay (McIntosh 80), North (c), Hargrave (Morris 83). Subs not used: Bickerstaff, Henderson.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Young, Smith, Curry, Galpin, Riding, Chapim, Wightman, Scroggins (c), Ramsey (Melvin 70), Byrne (Guerin 80), Briggs. Subs not used: Connor, Turner, Heptinstall.
Goals: Ramsey (19).