North Shields’ title aspirations took a knock on Saturday when they were held at home by Durham City.
At a windswept Daren Persson Stadium, Graham Fenton’s side maintained their unbeaten record and emerged with another clean sheet, but they were left feeling a little frustrated with only a one point return.
The conditions proved the real winners with chances at a premium and a determined Durham outfit, who clearly came for a point, thoroughly deserved their share of the spoils.
A rousing run from Dean Holmes saw James Luccock unluckily send his header just over the bar, but that was probably as close as the Robins got to breaking the deadlock all afternoon.
Chris Bannon had to come on to replace injured keeper Michael Robinson towards the end of the first period.
Robins assistant boss Andy Bowman said: “It wasn’t a great game but in no way can the lads be faulted for their efforts.
“They have all been under immense pressure lately as we’ve still been getting positive results and they are all standing up to be counted.
“Almost 1500 hundred in for the derby and over 500 against Durham is absolutely fantastic support, but people sometimes forget that we were in the second division last season and are now in a Wembley final and are still chasing the title.
“It’s such a huge achievement whatever happens now.”
North Shields: Robinson (Bannon 42), Donnison, Grey, Coppen, Parker, Hughes, Luccock (Morris 63), Forster, Bainbridge, Richardson (Walker 69), Holmes. Subs not sued: Elliott, Wrightson.
Following the midweek visit of Bedlington, North Shields head to Dunston UTS on Saturday (3pm).
A Gareth Bainbridge brace secured the points when the sides met north of the Tyne in November.
Morpeth visit on Wednesday, April 22, before Fenton takes his team to Sunderland RCA on Saturday, April 25, and out west to Celtic Nation on Tuesday, April 2.
Then there is the game at Wembley stadium on Saturday, May 9, against North West Counties West leaders Glossop North End.
A spokesperson for North Shields FC said the club was saddened to learn of the death of former manager Colin Richardson.
He was in charge in 1991-92 as the Robins won the Northern Counties East Championship as well as the League Cup and President’s Cup.