Nathan Lowe has joined Darlington on loan for the rest of the season. 

Lowe asked to leave the club earlier this week and an agreement has been reached for the midfielder to spend the remainder of the campaign with the National League North side. 

South Shields manager Kevin Phillips said: “On Monday, Nathan came to see me and said he didn’t want to play for the club anymore. 

“He said he was disappointed he hadn’t played in the previous two games and felt his time at the club had come to an end. 

“It was disappointing and surprising to us that Nathan viewed things that way, but I’ve said from day one that we would never keep anyone at the club who doesn’t want to be here. 

“It was in the best interests of both parties that a resolution was found for Nathan to go out on loan for the rest of the season. 

“We wish him all the very best for his time at Darlington and thank him for everything he has contributed to the club.” 

Nathan Lowe’s sublime free-kick earned a point for South Shields as they came from behind to draw 1-1 at Stafford Rangers on Saturday.

The Mariners were behind after Joe Cuff fired in for the home side seven minutes before half-time, but Lowe’s superb effort from 25 yards levelled the scores early in the second half.

Shields gathered momentum as they sought to inflict a first defeat in 11 league games on Stafford, but despite creating two clear opportunities for a winner, they were unable to find a way through for a second time.

Mitch Rose was sent off for a second booking in the closing stages as the Mariners were forced to settle for a draw which kept them top of the Pitching In Northern Premier League.

In the first meeting between the sides since November 2019, Shields made two changes to the team which started the match against Ashton United four days earlier, with the injured Jon Shaw replaced by Alex Kempster and Darius Osei coming in for Sam Hodgson.

Playing against the wind in the first half, the away side started well and created the first opportunity when JJ Hooper and Osei linked up well on the left before each advancing towards the box. Hooper maneuvered his way into a crossing position and delivered to Osei, who headed wide.

Although neither team was in control, most of the rare chances in the opening 45 minutes went the way of Shields. Kempster headed narrowly over from a Jordan Hunter cross and Hooper volleyed over from 12 yards after a flick-on from Osei.

The only attempt at goal from the hosts was a strike from Tre Pemberton which was blocked by Jack Bodenham, with Shields defending a number of long throws effectively.

Seven minutes before the interval, though, Tom Tonks delivered another bullet of a throw from the left flank into the box and it fell to the feet of Cuff, who rifled the ball past Myles Boney.

Shields were delivered a further blow at half-time when Hunter was forced off with a head injury, but Conor Tee performed well in the right wing-back role to help cover for that loss.

Parity was restored in the 54th minute as Lowe lined up a free-kick 25 yards from goal and whipped it into the top corner to spark a short period of domination from the Mariners which they hoped would result in a potentially decisive second goal.

Despite their best efforts, though, it did not arrive.

Osei was tenacious on the left flank and forced an opportunity within three minutes of the restart as he powered his way through, but his cut-back was fired wide by Hooper.

An even better opportunity was presented to Dillon Morse just after the hour mark when Lowe’s corner found him at point-blank range, but the ball came at the defender quickly and he could only head it over.

Stafford stemmed the flow of Shields attacks and although there were some further half-chances for the visitors, they were unable to trouble Mateusz Hewelt in the Rangers goal.

Their task was made more difficult when Rose was forced to sit out the final three minutes after receiving a second yellow card, and the final moments passed with little incident as the teams took home a point apiece.

The Mariners now have a midweek without a game before returning to action at Basford United next Saturday.

South Shields: Boney, Hunter (Tee 46), Adams (c), Rose, Morse, Bodenham, Lowe, Briggs (McGowan 78), Hooper (Jenkins 90), Osei, Kempster. Subs not used: Rossiter, Hodgson.

Goal: Lowe (54).

Red card: Rose (87).

Attendance: 862.

Image: Kev Wilson.

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.