Alex Wollerton gave Trinity the dream start, his crisp finish putting Gainsborough ahead on five, as he fired a sweet effort through the crowded box after Joe Wilson's corner was helped on by Neal Bishop. Wollerton's strike giving Myles Boney no chance.
The visitors' verve and energy in the opening half, a joy to behold for the travelling Trinity faithful. Shields though pegged the visitors back midway through the first half when a dangerous Conor Tee cross deflected kindly into the path of Will McGowan. The Shield's man with the simple finish into the unguarded goal.
Four minutes later, Brad Grayson fashioned himself a shooting chance. Pressing the Shield's defensive unit into an error, Trinity's leading marksman chopped onto his right foot, before letting fly. Boney equal to the effort.
At the other end, Matt Yates in the Trinity goal had to be alert to deny JJ Hooper from the angle, as the centre forward cut in from the Trinity right. Isaac Rice was looking to dictate the play from centre back alongside the experienced duo of Lewis Carr & Bishop who defended admirably and led by example.
As half time approached, Joe Wilson swung a dangerous free-kick that whistled a whisker wide of the post. An inviting centre crying out for the finishing touch. The Holy Blues having to settle for heading in at the break on level terms.
>Half time: South Shields 1 Gainsborough Trinity 1
The Mariners started the second half brightly and moments after the restart could have taken the lead. Cedric Main cutting in from the right he tested Yates low down at his near post. South Shields did turn the game on its head when Tee crashed home an effort off the underside of the bar, to settle home side nerves. Wilson stricken on the ground as the referee waved play on.
Wilson was again in the wars moments later, when Alex Kempster was cautioned for a late tackle.
Toby Gould shot a yard over the bar as Trinity looked for an equaliser moments before being withdrawn. And Shields had a third when a rapid counter just after the hour was turned home by Hooper, giving Yates no chance. Suspicions surrounding an offside Tee in the build up going unnoticed by the officials.
Grayson again tested Boney with a volley from distance, as the visitors belied their league position to ask questions of a South Shields side chasing top spot. Lewis Butroid's corner was never fully cleared, with Grayson swivelling to hit low to Boney"s right. Trinity continued to search for a way back into the game. Makama, Wilson & Butroid all having degrees of joy down the flanks, up until the final ball as the home side managed to see out the game.
A series of cynical fouls littered the closing stages, as temperatures rose, but the visitors just couldn't bring the game fully to the boil with another goal, to put the cat amongst the pigeons.
Matt Yates, Joe Wilson, Lewis Butroid, Lewis Carr (Curtis Morrison) Neal Bishop, Isaac Rice, Alex Wollerton, George Hornshaw, Brad Grayson, Jovon Makama, Toby Gould (Declan Bacon) Subs not used: Charlie Jemson & Cieron Keane
Gainsborough goal: Alex Wollerton 5’
Gainsborough yellow cards: George Hornshaw & Alex Wollerton
Referee: Mr Williams
Photo credit: Kev Wilson Photography @KevWilson19