Another exquisite strike from Dean Holmes set North Shields on their way to victory at Chester-le-Street as the sides met for the first time in this campaign in the Shieldsmen’s penultimate fixture.
It was an accomplished display from Graham Fenton’s side, who have been patched up and playing through the pain barrier for a significant spell.
The Robins bounced back admirably from a midweek 5-1 reverse at Tow Law Town.
That was a harsh scoreline for another depleted Robins line-up who had produced a spirited first half showing.
Two down early on, the Tynesiders were right back in it when Adam Rowntree struck and an equaliser was on the cards with Ben Richardson thwarted by a fine block from the home custodian following some great play including Stewart Wright and Holmes.
However Shields were left dumbfounded by a contentious penalty award to the hosts though Wright was unlucky not to reduce the deficit before the break, striking the bar with a stunning volley.
The Robins were deflated and rarely threatened, kicking up the slope in the second period, though Martin Graham was introduced as a late substitute to make his 176th appearance for the side and his first since April 2011.
Not that this result was any surprise to long-time Shields supporters – between 1964 and 1989 the Robins have only tasted success six times at Ironworks Road – even losing in the treble Wembley season of 1968-69.
At Chester-le-Street Dean Holmes once more produced a piece of magic up front and his 24th minute effort gave the home keeper no chance whatsoever.
Holmes also had an assist in his sides second just before the half time whistle as skipper Dan Patterson cut in from the left with Chester’s Lewis Brown knocking the ball into his own net.
Shields continued to perform competently on the turnaround, Kieran Wrightson going close twice and Holmes rattling the crossbar whilst player-coach Andy Bowman enjoyed another run-out in the final few minutes and is now closing in on 100 substitute outings for the club.
North Shields: Robinson, Hook, Patterson, Forster (Grey 82), Hall, Elliott, Wright (Bowman 86), Richardson, Douglas (Rowntree 60), Wrightson, Holmes. Subs not used: Nolan, Harmison.
The return with Chester-le-Street on Tuesday) brings the curtain down on the Robins’ season.