Nathan Lowe marked his 100th appearance for South Shields with the winning goal as the Mariners got the better of a spirited Atherton Collieries side at 1st Cloud Arena.

Lowe struck two minutes into the second half to seal the three points after Sam Hodgson’s early opener had been cancelled out by Gaz Peet.

It was a welcome return to winning ways for Shields as they moved to within one point of leaders Matlock Town in the Pitching In Northern Premier League.

Kevin Phillips made two changes to the team which started Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Morpeth Town, with Mitch Rose and Alex Kempster replacing Will McGowan and Darius Osei.

Rose and Kempster were at the heart of the first chance of the game, which arrived in the sixth minute.

After receiving possession near the halfway line, Rose played an impressive through ball to Lowe, who in turn found Kempster down the left of the area. He was off-balance as he struck the ball goalwards, though, and his effort lacked the power to seriously test Colls goalkeeper Danny Taberner.

Taberner was stretched more seriously in the Mariners’ next attack, as Will Jenkins teed up Robert Briggs on the edge of the box and his first-time shot was brilliantly tipped over by the goalkeeper.

Briggs was proving to be a real threat in the early stages and he went close again with a low curler from 25 yards which bounced just past the post.

Shields had some real momentum and made the most of it on 11 minutes.

Lowe received the ball with his back to goal 25 yards out and linked up with Hodgson before his powerful drive was pushed out by Taberner. It broke to the feet of the onrushing Hodgson, who was there to convert the rebound as he made it seven goals for the season and three in his last four appearances.

Atherton responded well, and were level just six minutes later when Peet went on a driving run from just outside his own penalty area and after some smart footwork when he reached the Shields box, he rifled past Myles Boney.

The visitors’ equaliser was against the run of play and they almost fell behind again soon after.

Kempster’s cross was cleared as far as Briggs, whose volley from the edge of the box bounced before striking the foot of the post and squirming to safety.

The remainder of the first half was more even as Atherton grew into the game, and they went the closest to adding to the scoring before half-time when Jack Lenehan’s effort was deflected over by Dillon Morse.

Phillips will have been looking for a strong start to the second half and Shields provided it.

Less than two minutes after the restart Morse clipped a pass forward which was nodded on by Kempster to Lowe, who broke from midfield before stabbing the ball low and past Taberner to hand his side a lead they would not relinquish.

They limited their opponents to no efforts on goal in the remainder of the game, while Shields’ attempts were mainly from distance as they saw the win out comfortably.

The Mariners travel to Mickleover on Tuesday as they go in search of another victory.

South Shields: Boney, Hunter, Adams (c), Rose, Morse, Bodenham, Jenkins (Tee 77), Lowe, Hodgson (Hooper 68), Briggs, Kempster. Subs not used: Shaw, McGowan, Osei.

Goals: Hodgson (11), Lowe (47).

Attendance: 2,072.

Image: Kev Wilson.

South Shields welcome Atherton Collieries to 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday as they bid to get back to winning ways in the Pitching In Northern Premier League (3pm kick-off).

The Mariners’ six-match unbeaten run was brought to an end in midweek when Morpeth Town defeated them 1-0, and Saturday will see them come up against a side with the fourth-best defensive record in the league.

Shields go into the game sitting second in the table, three points behind leaders Matlock Town with a game in hand.

Atherton, meanwhile, are 13th, and have been involved in the fewest amount of goals in the league so far this season, with their excellent defensive record contrasting with their form at the other end of the pitch. No team has scored fewer than their 24.

One of those was scored in the reverse fixture at the Skuna Stadium last November, when a 10-man Shields team were denied victory by a late equaliser.

Manager’s view

Shields manager Kevin Phillips is expecting a difficult encounter at 1st Cloud Arena, but after Tuesday’s disappointment he is aware of how important a return to winning ways is for his side.

He said: “It’s about how we react, it’s as simple as that.

“We can’t let one result derail our season, and I certainly won’t let that happen.

“We’re looking for a strong performance on Saturday.

“I’m sure Atherton will be disciplined and their record shows that, as only three teams in our league have conceded less goals than them this season.

“On the flip-side, they also haven’t scored a lot of goals so it all suggests that they’ll be tough to break down and it will be up to us to be patient.

“We have to make sure we take our opportunities when they come our way.”

Team news

The reverse fixture saw JJ Hooper make his debut for the Mariners and he could again play a prominent role on Saturday, with the striker expected to have recovered from a thigh injury in time to take his place in the squad.

Phillips is also hopeful of having Cedric Main back involved after he missed the last two games, and their return is set to increase competition for places.

The manager added: “We’re almost back to full strength and the players have trained well this week, which has provided me with something of a headache over team selection.

“That inevitably means some players will miss out on Saturday but that’s part of football, and with so many matches to come in a relatively short space of time, the whole squad is going to play a massive part in the weeks ahead.

“To have JJ and Cedric back available would provide us with a very welcome boost, because they’re both good players and I haven’t been able to work with them as much as I’d have liked since I came in.”

Shields remain without midfielder Callum Ross, though, who is sidelined with a knee injury.

Matchday information

Kick-off at 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday is at 3pm, with the turnstiles set to open at 12.30pm.

Admission prices are £10 for adults, £8 for students, over-65s and disabled supporters, and £3 for under-16s, and tickets – including seats in the CEFO Group Stand – can be purchased in advance until 12pm on matchday by clicking here. Cash turnstiles will also be in operation.

Supporters are encouraged to stay behind after the game to enjoy live entertainment.

Straight after the final whistle, there will be a karaoke and DJ in the marquee while from 6.30pm, vocalist Jenn Cherene will perform in the Shipley Heating Lounge. Everyone is welcome in either of those facilities, with the other bars to show the day’s live football at the same time.

Happy Hour pricing will be in place in all bars between 6pm to 7pm.

Programmes are priced at £2 and feature an in-depth interview with cover star Jordan Hunter, columns from Kevin Phillips and Blair Adams, an in-depth look at Atherton Collieries, a catch-up with former Shields midfielder Luke Daly, all the latest from our Foundation, Academy and Ladies team, and so much more.

If you are unable to attend the game, follow live updates on the club’s Twitter channel, www.twitter.com/southshieldsfc.

South Shields were pegged back by an 84th minute equaliser after an action-packed second half left them reduced to nine players in a 1-1 draw at Atherton Collieries.

The Mariners had Darius Osei sent off shortly after half-time but battled well and took the lead when Jack Bodenham converted from a Nathan Lowe free-kick.

Atherton’s late leveller forced both sides to settle for a point but Shields ended the game another man light after Dan Martin was given his marching orders deep into stoppage time for a second yellow card.

The lively second half was not in keeping with what had preceded it, with the first 45 minutes devoid of goalmouth action.

The closest either team came followed a ball down the right channel from Lowe to Alex Kempster, who reached it before Atherton goalkeeper Elliot Wynne and sent a flicked effort narrowly wide.

Another opening for the visitors arrived shortly before the half-hour mark as Osei stole possession in the area and drove a ball across the face of goal which had just too much on it for Kempster and Conor Tee.

Arguably the game’s biggest talking point arrived seven minutes into the second half when Osei received a straight red card after the referee adjudged he had kicked out at an opponent.

Shields adapted well to the one-man disadvantage but the hosts did create a number of opportunities to take the lead.

Joel Amado fired not far wide from the edge of the box and the impressive Marcus Cusani cut inside and rifled a shot over as the Colls began to build up some pressure.

Far from feeling satisfied to settle for a point, though, the Mariners launched a series of attacks of their own.

JJ Hooper was introduced from the bench for his debut and almost had an immediate impact, collecting a loose ball 25 yards from goal before curling an effort narrowly past the post, while Lowe also went close with a dipping free-kick from a similar range.

A goal felt inevitable at that stage, although it was unclear which end it would come at.

Next it was Atherton’s turn to threaten, with Shields goalkeeper Myles Boney doing well to deny Aaron Smith by closing the angle and saving with his legs, and Smith then volleying just wide after a long throw was flicked on.

But it was the Mariners who broke the deadlock with just 15 minutes left to play.

Lowe delivered a free-kick to the back post which was prodded goalwards by Bodenham, with the ball squirming under Wynne and just beyond the line to give Shields a lead to hold onto.

Jack Lenihan powered a free-kick over for the home side but Shields looked likely to see the game out until they were undone in the 84th minute, with Gareth Peet advancing down the left and delivering a low cross which substitute Matty Gillam turned in from close range.

Martin was sent off five minutes into stoppage time for a second booking after a trip on Peet, and the resulting free-kick from Elliot Rokka drew a tremendous save from Boney as he plucked it from the top corner with his fingertips.

Despite having just nine players on the pitch, the final attempt at goal was from Shields, with Lowe shooting wide from distance on the left.

There were to be no further goals, though, as the Mariners went into a two-week break from match action with a draw.

South Shields: Boney, Martin, Adams (c), Ross, Morse, Bodenham, Tee, Lowe, Osei, Briggs (Main 56) (McGowan 81), Kempster (Hooper 56). Subs not used: Steavens, Hodgson.

Goal: Bodenham (75).

Attendance: 382.

Image: Kev Wilson.