South Shields eased to a third win in a week as they triumphed 3-1 at Darlington RA on Tuesday.
The Mariners controlled the game, and goals from Lewis Teasdale, Adam Sakr and Barrie Smith moved them nine points clear at the top of Ebac Northern League Division Two.
Jon King’s side took less than three minutes to open the scoring.
Adam Sakr – restored to the side on the right flank – beat his man before his low cross was rolled into the net by Teasdale as he scored his fourth goal in three games.
Shields continued to dominate the early exchanges, and they went close to adding a second when Sakr’s cross was headed wide by Stephen Ramsey.
The next to go close was John Grey, with his excellent drive from 25 yards palmed away by home goalkeeper Philip Pentony, who then denied Sakr as he tried to power in a follow-up.
A cross from Sakr also whistled past the post, while Robert Briggs had a volley blocked and another effort saved.
It was all Shields, and Julio Arca had a shot from distance deflected wide before the hosts had their first effort, with Stephen Cheeseman first denied by Gareth Young and then having a shot deflected past the post after getting in on the inside-right of the box.
Normal service was soon resumed, with the Mariners on the attack.
Five minutes before half-time, Wayne Phillips beat his man on the left before his excellent cross was headed over by Teasdale.
After the break, Shields finally grabbed their second with 47 minutes on the clock.
Darlington RA gave the ball away at the back and presented it to Sakr, who made no mistake as he slotted home.
Teasdale thought he had added a third for Shields when he was played through on goal, but Pentony produced a fine one-handed save to deny him.
For the hosts, James Wilson went close with a free-kick, but Young did well to hold it, while at the other end, Ramsey’s effort went wide.
Shields introduced Mechack Kanda from the bench after he completed his move from Gateshead, and within three minutes of his introduction, his new team went 3-0 up.
Young punched away a home free-kick and the Mariners broke at speed, with Danny Carson driving them on before finding Teasdale.
Teasdale played in Smith on the inside-left of the box, and he rounded the goalkeeper before firing an effort that went in off a defender.
Shields were unable to keep a clean sheet, though, with RA responding almost instantly when Wilson was twice denied before John Grey fired into his own net.
Sakr has a great chance to make it four, but was denied by Pentony, while Phillips, Robert Briggs and Daryll Hall also went close.
At the other end, Young was commanding as the hosts were kept at bay and Shields saw out their 3-1 victory.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Young, Smith, Grey, Hassan (c), Riding, Arca (Carson 62), Sakr, Briggs, Ramsey (Kanda 68), Teasdale (Hall 84), Phillips. Subs not used: Pocklington, Turner.
Goals: Teasdale (3), Sakr (47), Smith (71).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.
Tuesday’s Ebac Northern League Division Two fixture between Darlington RA and South Shields has been postponed.
The pitch at Brinkburn Road is waterlogged as a result of the heavy rainfall.
Details regarding a rearranged fixture will be released in due course.
The Mariners are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Billingham Town for a 3pm kick-off.
South Shields manager Jon King insists his side will face a much tougher examination against Darlington RA tonight than they did in the reverse fixture.
The Mariners thrashed RA 6-0 at Mariners Park in August, but the Darlington club are having an impressive season.
They are fourth in Ebac Northern League Division Two heading into the fixture at Brinkburn Road, which is subject to a 1pm pitch inspection.
Shields are looking for a 19th consecutive victory in all competitions, and King is eager for them to get some points on the board in the league again.
The Mariners have had just two league fixtures in the last five-and-a-half weeks, and Chester-le-Street have reduced their lead at the top to four points, with Ryhope CW a further two back.
King said: “Darlington RA are a better side than they showed when they played us in August, as their position in the table proves.
“They will certainly be tough opposition, but we need to keep this run going and want to extend our lead at the top of the table.
“Chester-le-Street and Ryhope are hot on our heels, so we need to get some points on the board again.
“We’ve had a few games postponed recently and they have taken advantage of that to close the gap.
“We’ll be going there fresh, though.”
The game has been in some doubt because of the wet conditions, but King is eager for it to beat the weather.
He added: “We have to prepare for the game being on.
“It will be another tough one for us, because they’re riding high in the table and have had some excellent results this season.
“Every game for us is tough, and teams are well up for it when they play South Shields and are desperate to end our winning run.
“We’ll have to be at our best if we’re to keep it going. If we don’t do things right, we will drop points.”
Shields will be without the injured Lewis Galpin and Lewis Teasdale for the 7.30pm kick-off at Brinkburn Road, which has a postcode of DL3 9LF.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.