The Holy Blues were out of the traps quickly, with Myles Boney called into action to divert Isaac Rice's close range header over the bar from Curtis Durose’s right footed centre. Moments later, Clayton Donaldson, Harry Lewis and Durose all linked up neatly, with Trinity's number seven driving forward with purpose. And forcing Boney into action. Dogged defending saw the Holy Blues put bodies on the line as Martin Smith, Michael Woods and Dylan Mottley-Henry all tried to get shots away. Mottley-Henry's effort thumping wide of Matt Yates' left hand upright. Despite the bright start, Robert Briggs punished the Holy Blues from the spot, after a clumsy challenge from Joe West saw the referee award the penalty.
Gainsborough weren't about to roll over, having gone a goal down, as midfield talisman, Liam Waldock and Harry Lewis were looking to get the Blues on the front foot. George Hornshaw cross was over everybody after some nice build up play. Waldock then turned smartly - and curled an effort on target - unfortunately for anyone of a Trinity persuasion, the effort lacked the power to trouble Boney. Donaldson was next to be denied. Sweeping up, Yates' clearance fell at the feet of Briggs, a yard or so outside the centre circle, but the Mariners' midfielder couldn't find the target as he looked to fire over the back-pedalling Trinity stopper!
A controversial moment almost developed a minute before half time, when two South Shields players appeared to be in an offside position, forcing West to play the ball. Expecting the whistle to go in favour of the home side - the freekick went thr way of the visitors. Fortunately, Bish's boys held it together to see off the danger, as Shields' set piece lacked the finesse to trouble Yates' defensive line.
Half Time: Gainsborough Trinity 0 South Shields 1
Like on Saturday, the Blues caught the opposition cold. Inside the opening minute of the half, Hornshaw danced inside from the right, before he combined with Durose to fashion a shooting opportunity. The Rotherham youngster did brilliantly to shift the ball a yard to the right - and Hornshaw didn't need a second invitation, latching on to the ball, to net a crisp finish beyond Boney, to the delight of the Northolme faithful.
The goal sparked a reaction with the crowd responding to the start they had witnessed. Bailey Conway continued to cover every blade of grass in the engine room, ablely supported by skipper Rice as the two complimented each other in the centre of the park. A Shield's effort on goal didn't trouble Yates just past the hour mark, a soon while later Donaldson and Waldock wereny quite on the same wavelength. Donaldson over running the ball, with players arguably in a better position.
Caught late, but not seen by the man in the middle, Waldock's game was prematurely ended. Jay Glover caller back from his limbering up routine, to be thrust immediately into action. The on loan Sheffield Wednesdsy youngster settled into the position vacated by Waldock seamlessly. Trinity were defending resolutely, and good pressing from Bish's Blues saw the visitors pass up shooting opportunities, before Donaldson turned on a six pence and flashed his shot on thr turn a yard or two wide of the upright!
As the game entered added time, Myles Boney eventually did enough to rile the referee. Told to stop wasting time, after the goalkeeper has been guilty on more than one occasion, particularly during the first half. Broadbent became South Shields first caution in added time, and the centre back was almost made to pay the ultimate penalty, when Fraser Preston's devilish free-kick was glanced narrowly wide by Cogill. The centre back a whisker away from giving Trinity a deserved victory.
Ultimately, George Hornshaw's strike, less than a minute into the second half, earning a share of the spoils, that perhaps on balance, could have been more. And now, Neal Bishop's Holy Blues turn attentions to the visit of Belper Town on Saturday, looking to add three points to the play-off push - and extend the mini unbeaten run to four.
Gainsborough Trinity: Matt Yates, George Hornshaw, Joseph West, Isaac Rice, Hayden Cann, Dylan Cogill, Curtis Durose, Bailey Conway, Clayton Donaldson, Liam Waldock (Jay Glover) Harry Lewis (Jack Dyche). Subs not used: Prosper Keto and Andrew Wright.
South Shields: Myles Boney, Blair Adams, Gary Liddle, Tom Broadbent, Martin Smith, Dylan Mottley-Henry, Robert Briggs, Darius Osei, Michael Woods. Subs not used: Jordan Hunter, Lewis Alessandra.
Preview written by Rob Hughes (@AATM_Media)
Photos by Kevin Wilson, South Shields Official Photographer (@KevWilson19)