The Holy Blues started the game in determined fashion, Lewis Dennison adding a sense of urgency to the Gainsborough play. And it was the wide man's high press that presented Simon Ainge with the opening chance of the game. The skipper snatching at the opening, sending his effort wide. Tom Jackson did well to get everything behind a fizzed effort, as Grant and Shields' Alex Kempster enjoyed a good battle down the Gainsborough right.
Darius Osei then did well for the visitors, getting to the by line, his cut back found Briggs, whose finish was left wanting. Kempster then glanced narrowly wide following good play from the Mariners' right back. Alex Wiles probed from midfield and linked well with Simon Ainge, the skipper looking to get a shot off on the turn.
Jackson then came to Trinity's rescue again as he was out smartly at the feet of Osei. Briggs blazing the follow up over the bar. The Trinity number one was then equal to Dillion Morse's point blank header, plunging to the foot of his left hand post to keep the scores level at the break. Half time, Gainsborough Trinity, 0 South Shields 0.
The Holy Blues again started the half brightly, Dec Bacon and Simon Ainge combining brightly only to see Ainge's effort deflected behind for an early corner. Matty Dixon's set pieces were finding their target. And from Ainge's knockdown, AJ Greaves had a glorious chance to put Trinity in front - only to see his effort flash the wrong side of the upright.
Jackson smothered the danger as Briggs tried his luck in a foot race against Baker, before Osei shot straight at Jackson. On 68' Tom Jackson was again called into action, this time making a fine double save to deny Jordan Hunter, not once, but twice. Referee Jamie O'Connor waving away appeals for a penalty.
Only a minute later though, the referee did point to the spot. Ryan Campbell-Gordon adjuged to have fouled his man. Briggs stepping up to send Jackson the wrong way from the spot. The Blues rallied and with the introduction of Scott Hutchinson, looked lively. Appeals for a Gainsborough penalty were dismissed as a clumsy challenge on Ainge went unpunished.
Three minutes from time, Ainge rose majestically to power a Matty Dixon cross goalwards after patient build up play through the thirds. His header cannoning down off the underside of the ball and rebounding to safety. Bacon then went to ground inside the box after getting on the end of an Ainge flick on, but again the referee was unmoved. And despite Trinity showing plenty of spirit, they were unable to find a leveller. Full time, Gainsborough Trinity 0, South Shields 1.
Gainsborough Trinity: Tom Jackson, Matty Dixon, Ryan Campbell-Gordon, Kamarl Grant (Zak Walker) Matt Baker, James Williamson, AJ Greaves Alex Wiles (Scott Hutchinson) Simon Ainge, Declan Bacon, Lewis Dennison (Brad Ronis). Subs not used: James Leverton, Taylor Karkach.
Gainsborough Trinity Man of the Match: Tom Jackson