Gareth Bainbridge kept up his fantastic scoring form as North Shields saw off Guisborough Town at the KGV Ground.
The Robins striker scored his fourth goal in three games and his side’s second goal, shortly after he provided an assist for Lee Mason in the first-half.
Steven Roberts squandered Guisborough’s best chance to get back into it in the 81st minute.
It was a pretty even affair in the opening half hour with both sides having efforts of their own. The first big chance of the tie fell to Mason as he linked up with Bainbridge, but could only hit his shot straight at the keeper from inside the box on 15 minutes.
Two minutes later, the Priorymen replied through Lewis Maloney, whose audacious attempt from long distance required Kyle Hayes to retreat onto his goal line and tip it over the bar.
However, Mason broke the deadlock for the Robins on 32 minutes. Bainbridge drifted out to the left-hand side before he picked out the run of Mason, who slid home.
And Bainbridge turned from provider to goal scorer, three minutes later, as Shields hit a quick-fire double and put themselves in a commanding position.
His pace helped him break away from his man on the halfway line to run forward and slot the ball under Nixon.
From then on, the Robins and Bainbridge were oozing with confidence as only the post denied the striker another on 43 minutes.
The second-half seemed to be all about managing the game for Smith’s men.
Hayes only real noticeable save came two minutes after the restart as Ben Hugill stinged the palms of the Shields number one.
Apart from that, Hayes was barely tested until late on despite the Priorymen seeing more of the possession.
Eleven minutes from time, Roberts squandered the chance of making it a tense finish as he failed to find the gapping left-hand corner.
Hayes then did brilliant to tip clear a strong Matthew Lovett attempt.
Substitute Joe Kerrigde then thought he’d given Shields a third in the final minutes but referee Jonathan Urwin ruled it out for a foul.
Next up for the Robins is a fifth successive away trip, this time at Newton Aycliffe.