Ten-man South Shields clinched promotion with a 31st successive win as David Foley’s stunning strike secured a 1-0 victory over title rivals North Shields in Northern League Division One.
Having been informed just hours before kick-off that Mariners Park had passed the ground inspection for the Evo-Stik League, South Shields knew a win would guarantee a top-three finish.
And the visitors achieved the victory, despite a tough last 30 minutes following Julio Arca’s red card.
Foley’s screamer in the first half gave the Mariners the advantage in what at times was a niggly affair.
The little striker picked up the ball 25 yards out and sent a swerving, dipping effort over a stranded Kyle Hayes.
In front of a packed crowd at the Daren Person Stadium, the game threatened to boil over on numerous occasions.
And when Arca was penalised for a foul on 59 minutes, the Argentinian was shown a second yellow card.
Down to 10 men, the Mariners rode their luck.
Within two minutes, Forster had an effort deflected over while the visitors survived a goalmouth scramble from a set-piece.
With Gavin Cogdon sacrificed, Foley was asked to plough a lone furrow up front and he still looked a threat on the break. And from one of his corners, Donnison scrambled off the line as Louis Storey looked set to score.
North Shields pressed in the last 10 minutes, and Gareth Bainbridge curled a free kick just over the bar, but this was a deserved win for the visitors.
The victory saw South Shields leapfrog North Shields to top the table on goal difference, and with two games in hand.