Leepaul Scroggins headed the winner as South Shields advanced in the League Cup with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Team Northumbria last night.
Scroggins struck two minutes before half-time as Shields saw off the Northern League Division Two leaders in front of a crowd of 351 at Mariners Park.
The Mariners played well without creating too many clear-cut opportunities as they restricted the attacking force of their visitors.
The game was watched by new signing Andrew Bulford, who joined from Dunston UTS – where he is the all-time leading goalscorer – on the day of the game.
The first real chance fell to Shields nine minutes before the break, but Robert Briggs was denied by a fine block.
Wayne Phillips also had an effort blocked, while Briggs and Ben Riding sent headers not far wide as the Mariners increased the pressure.
The deadlock was broken on 43 minutes when Phillips floated in a free-kick from deep on the right, and Riding sent a superb header back across goal for Scroggins, who headed in.
In the second half, Team Northumbria went close when Joel Bradley drilled narrowly wide, while at the other end, Alex Newton made an excellent save from a Briggs header.
Jonny Wightman sent an effort just past the post for the Mariners, and Briggs also had a shot deflected just wide as Shields looked to seal their passage into the next round.
The Mariners were rarely troubled, but Scott Pocklington did well to hold onto a header from David Dormand, and the hosts saw the game out.
Shields are back in action on Saturday at Mariners Park against the same opposition, this time in the league.
They will hope to move to within a point of their opponents at the top of the table.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Pocklington, Smith, Turner, Galpin, Riding, Briggs, Sakr, Scroggins (c), Byrne (Ramsey 61), Wightman, Phillips (Curry 67). Subs not used: Young, Thexton, Heptinstall.
Goals: Scroggins (43).