South Shields returned to the top of the Evo-Stik North Division after a five-star performance saw off the 10 men of Ossett Town on Tuesday.

The visitors were up against it from the start and, after Dillon Morse had headed Shields in front, their task was made even harder when striker Nicky Boshell was sent off for a foul on Julio Arca.

The Mariners pushed on from there, with Robert Briggs making it 2-0 from the penalty spot before Gavin Cogdon, Julio Arca and Louis Storey all netted in the second half to complete the job.

Hyde United’s draw at Bamber Bridge allowed Shields to climb back to the top of the league and strengthen their promotion bid.

They were on the front foot from the start against Ossett, and almost took the lead early on when Carl Finnigan’s effort was cleared off the line.

Jon Shaw headed wide from a Robert Briggs free-kick as Shields continued to probe, and their breakthrough arrived in the 14th minute as Arca’s cross from the right was headed in at the back post by Morse.

Boshell was sent off in the 21st minute for an awful challenge on Arca in the centre of the park, and there was no way back from there for Ossett.

It was soon 2-0 when, after Cogdon was fouled in the area, Briggs stepped up to rattle the penalty away and surely make the points safe.

Jamie Holmes and Storey went close before half-time, but a five-minute blitz in the second half ultimately added the gloss to the scoreline.

Cogdon scored Shields’ third as he tapped into an empty net following a fine move, with Darren Lough stroking the ball across the box for him.

Arca was soon in on the act, too, as he reacted quickest when a Briggs drive was parried to find the net.

And then it was Storey who completed the scoring as he diverted another Briggs shot from distance in via his head.

The Mariners could have made the scoreline even more convincing in the closing stages, but ultimately kept the ball and conserved some energy ahead of a hectic period.

They are next in action on Thursday when they travel to Workington in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Baxter, Lough, Shaw (Smith 63), Morse (Mason 71), Arca (c), Storey, Briggs, Cogdon, Finnigan (Richardson 34), Holmes. Subs not used: Woolston,

Goals: Morse (14), Briggs (pen 25), Cogdon (62), Arca (65), Storey (67).

Attendance: 973.

WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.

Tuesday’s Evo-Stik North Division match between South Shields and Ossett Town has been postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

Much work was undertaken on Monday to make the surface at Mariners Park playable following heavy snowfall over the last week.

However, a deluge of rain overnight left a great deal of surface water on the pitch.

An inspection was held on Tuesday morning, when it was decided that the game could not go ahead.

A rearranged date for the fixture will be announced in due course.

The club is appealing for the help of supporters as we try to ensure Tuesday’s game against Ossett Town beats the weather.

The pitch at Mariners Park still has a covering of snow following last week’s adverse weather in South Tyneside.

However, officials are hopeful that tomorrow’s game will go ahead – if volunteers can lend a helping hand.

This morning, joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton, as well as vice-chairman Gary Crutwell, have been on the pitch clearing some of the snow.

They are now appealing for others to join them, and bring their own plastic shovels if possible.

Picton said: “Because of the weather, it has been almost two weeks since we last played, so we’d really like tomorrow’s game to go ahead.

“Probably three-quarters of the pitch has defrosted quite nicely, but at both ends of it, there are areas where the snow has drifted and there is quite a bit to clear.

“If any of our supporters are available to come and lend us a helping hand this morning, it would be hugely appreciated.

“With their help we’re confident we’ll be able to get the game on.

“If they are able to bring their own shovels, we request that they are plastic so we can protect the pitch as much as possible.”

The Mariners are top of the Evo-Stik North Division heading into Tuesday’s fixture, which is due to kick-off at 7.45pm.