Scarborough Athletic lose 1-0 at high-flyers South Shields in New Year's Day clash
A well taken goal midway through the first half proved decisive, but Boro spurned a great chance of a late leveller, as Shields held on for the win to climb to third in the NPL Premier table, writes Steve Adamson.
Unchanged for the fourth successive game, Boro went close early on, as a Will Thornton shot was deflected out for a corner, from which Jake Day headed just over, then Bailey Gooda made a great tackle to halt a surging run from Shields winger Darius Osei.
The main danger man for the home side was Cedric Main on the left. He looked dangerous every time he ran at the Boro defence, but both Gooda and Thornton got in strong tackles to stop his progress, and he had a goal-bound shot blocked by Kieran Weledji.
The deadlock was broken on 23 minutes when a build involving several passes, culminated in Main bursting through the middle and squaring to Will McGowan, who sidefooted past Ryan Whitley into the roof of the net.
Boro went close soon after, as a long throw into the area from Ash Jackson was palmed away under pressure by keeper Myles Boney, towards Simon Heslop, who had a terrific game, but his shot was charged down by a defender.
Lewis Maloney then sent a through-ball to Day, who drove a rasping shot narrowly over, while at the other end a McGowan corner was headed over by Dillon Morse.
A Ryan Watson corner was headed on by Gooda towards Thornton, who directed his header just over, and Jackson fired a shot straight at the keeper.
For the home side, the pacy Main shot wide of the left hand post, and Osei directed a shot straight at Whitley.
Just before the interval Kieran Glynn set up a chance for Watson, but his shot was blocked by a defender.
Boro shaded possession in the second half, but a strong cross field wind made conditions difficult.
Maloney laid off for Watson to shoot over, then Shields striker Jonathan Hooper also fired over, and soon after, Boro keeper Whitley dived at Hooper’s feet as he chased a through-ball from Nathan Lowe.
Boro went close when Glynn flicked the ball out to Jackson on the left, and he sent a low cross into the goalmouth, but Day miskicked.
Boro were on top in the later stages, with sub Brad Plant injecting pace and movement that troubled the home defence.
Watson had a shot blocked by Morse, and in the last minute of stoppage time, livewire Plant flicked the ball through to Glynn, who burst past a defender, and was one-one-one with the keeper, but placed his shot wide of the post, and the final whistle sounded seconds later.
BORO: Whitley, Weledji, Jackson, Heslop, Thornton, Gooda, Maloney, Watson, Day (Plant 71), Colville, Glynn
MAN OF THE MATCH: Bailey Gooda