Whitby Town lose out as South Shields seal promotion to National League North as NPL Premier champions
It was always going to be a big ask for the Seasiders against their full-time, title chasing opponents but, in fairness, it was Nathan Haslam's men who looked the more threatening throughout the match, writes Liam Ryder.
It came down to Shields' clinical edge in front of goal which saw them secure promotion to the National League North as they scored with their only effort on target.
The Blues will take heart from their performance as they look to build for the 2023/24 season.
It was Shields who looked to get after Whitby from the outset at a charged Towbar Express Stadium @ The Turnbull Ground, pressing high and hassling the Seasiders' backline wherever possible.
The hosts, however, looked composed once they had settled into the game.
Robert Briggs had a sight of goal five minutes in, blazing wide after a cross from the right wing.
Another ball into the box shortly after caused panic, but the calm Daniel Rowe took no chances as he cleared behind for a corner which came to nothing.
After a nervy start, Whitby began to have some possession of their own, and they certainly looked a dangerous attacking force, largely down to the quick attacking play of Harry Green.
In the 21st minute, opposing goalkeeper Myles Boney failed to gather a ball over the top which allowed both Green and Aaron Braithwaite to fire efforts on goal, only to be denied on both occasions.
Green would then force Boney to save with his legs two minutes later from a tight angle.
Aaron Haswell would also find himself in a similar situation after 31 minutes, but once again Boney came to Shields' rescue.
With 35 minutes on the clock, however, Shields made the breakthrough. A foul from Priestley Griffiths saw a free-kick awarded to the visitors.
From the set-piece, Martin Smith curled a delicious ball into the area which was met by the head of the towering Broadbent who found the net with a precise header.
Prior to the goal, Briggs had threatened with a volley from distance after a lay-off from Dylan Mottley-Henry, but the strike was never troubling Shane Bland.
But Town didn't let their heads drop after conceding and could have levelled on the stroke of half-time had it not been for some last-ditch defending to deny Green.
The second half was stop-start to begin with, with a series of niggly fouls committed across the pitch.
Lewis Hawkins had a chance for Whitby with a 40-yard lob, but his effort was gathered by the back-tracking Boney.
The Seasiders continued to turn the screw, albeit without being able to find shots.
The dangerous Green was often the man involved as the ball carrier as he continued to keep the Shields defence on their toes.
Despite a much-improved performance, that was to go down as Town's fourth game without a goal as Kevin Phillips' professional outfit celebrated promotion.