Goals from Stephen Ramsey and Warren Byrne were not enough to extend South Shields’ winning run on Tuesday as Alnwick Town twice came from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw.
The Mariners made the trip north looking for a fifth successive victory, but despite having much of the play, they returned home with just a point.
That was still enough to see them climb a place to second in Ebac Northern League Division Two, behind only Darlington RA, who Shields defeated 6-0 a little over a week ago.
A tight opening at St James’ Park led to few early openings, although Barrie Smith did have an effort from distance saved, while at the other end, Ryan Beal did well to turn behind a deep cross from Kieran Hogg.
Shields looked the more dangerous of the two teams, with Gilberto Chapim having a cross from the right just cut out by the goalkeeper, while Ramsey was later beaten to the ball in the nick of time by the Alnwick stopper.
Beal again had to turn behind a deep delivery from Hogg – this time from a free-kick – on the half-hour mark, but it was not until four minutes before half-time that the deadlock was broken.
Shields were awarded a corner moments after Leepaul Scroggins had a huge penalty appeal turned down. Jonny Wightman curled in a terrific delivery from the left, and Daryll Hall’s header was pushed away by Alnwick goalkeeper Nathan Brown. However, he could only palm it as far as Stephen Ramsey, who hooked it above him, and past the defender on the line as he notched his second goal in as many games.
Shields dominated the closing stages of the half, and Byrne almost made it two when he lobbed the goalkeeper, but the effort went wide.
Another chance fell to Robert Briggs, whose 30 yard effort was tipped wide by the goalkeeper, while Scroggins later headed past the post.
The Mariners picked up where they left off after the break, but Byrne and Ramsey were both denied, while Byrne and Scroggins curled free-kicks over.
Hogg dragged Alnwick back on level terms on 71 minutes with a piledriver of a free-kick from 20 yards which flew into the top corner.
That sparked Shields into action again, and three minutes later, a superb first-time shot from Byrne just outside the box put them ahead again. Chapim lifted the ball over a defender to Byrne, who stretched for the ball and hammered it into the opposite bottom corner with his left foot.
Once more, though, Alnwick hit back, with captain Tom McPherson levelling with a bullet header from a left-wing corner.
The remainder of the game was quiet by comparison, but substitute Lee Scott almost won it for Shields at the death, only to be denied by a superb block.
The Mariners will hope to get back to winning ways on Saturday, when they host Ryhope CW from 3pm.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Beal, Smith, Turner, Hall, Galpin, Briggs, Chapim, Scroggins (c), Ramsey (Guerin 83), Byrne, Wightman (Scott 90). Subs not used: Connor, Riding, Sakr.
Goals: Ramsey (41), Byrne (74).