South Shields maintained their position at the top of EVO-STIK North with a 2-0 win at Ossett Town.
The Mariners scored twice before half-time after the sending off of home defender Anthony Mackie, with Carl Finnigan scoring from the resulting penalty before Dillon Morse headed in Shields’ second soon after.
They are now two points clear of Glossop North End at the top of the table.
The Mariners almost went ahead in the 25th minute when Michael Richardson got clear on the left and his cross was cleared as far as Barrie Smith, whose effort was deflected just wide.
Richardson also went close with a shot which cleared the crossbar, before the game’s major talking point arrived on 33 minutes.
Morse had a header blocked and then his follow-up effort was saved by the hand of Mackie on the line. The referee pointed to the spot and gave Mackie his marching orders.
Finnigan made no mistake with the penalty, sending home goalkeeper Leigh Overton the wrong way.
Two minutes before half-time, Shields were almost out of sight.
Matty Pattison’s glorious curled free-kick from the right went beyond the home defence and was headed into an empty net by Morse at the back post.
It was the defender’s third goal in as many appearances as he continues to prove his worth to the side at both ends of the pitch.
Smith had an effort well-saved before the break, but Ossett continued to give it their all in the second half and were able to restrict the Mariners.
Richardson and Finnigan both had good efforts saved, while at the other end, Shields goalkeeper Jack Norton did well to palm an effort by Ashley Jackson wide after it took an awkward bounce.
The closest Shields came to extending their lead was when Jon Shaw’s bullet header from a Robert Briggs corner was brilliantly saved by Overton.
Finnigan sent a decent opportunity over after a decent ball from Smith, while Luke Sullivan hit the bar in the closing stages with a brilliant lob for the Mariners.
Ossett did carve out some opportunities towards the end, but were unable to find a way past Norton, who made a superb save from Corey Gregory.
The Mariners will look to continue their impressive start to life in EVO-STIK North when they host Clitheroe on Saturday.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Norton, Baxter, Callaghan, Shaw (c), Morse, Briggs (Storey 73), Smith, Pattison (Nicholson 61), Finnigan (Cogdon 76), Richardson, Sullivan. Subs not used: Arca, Holmes.
Goals: Finnigan (pen 35), Morse (43).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.