NORTH Shields dug deep to grind out a victory over a battling Ashington side who gave everything but just as a draw seemed certain Shields centre forward Katie Barker lost her marker to turn in a Brooke Patterson throw in.
The last minute goal means Shields keep the pressure on the unbeaten Bedlington Rockets with the the only two teams to top the league due to meet on the final day of the season.
If Shields go into that game with a chance of the title they can look back on this result as being crucial because for long periods of this game Shields were on that back foot against a resurgent Ashington.
Shields though have developed a habit of grinding out wins even when they are not firing on all cylinders and once again their determination not to be defeated saw them through.
Against the run of play Katie Barker cut inside from the right wing to fire Shields in front, but after some poor defending Ashington drew level.
Both sides then had chances to grab a winner as one side then the other seemed to be on top.
As the game headed for full time Shields had keeper Emily Pearson to thank for keeping them level but as Ashington supporters were about to celebrate their best result of the season Shields stole a winner to break the hosts hearts.
Man of the match Katie Barker.