Despite a spirited performance from Atherton Collieries, South Shields came out 2-0 victors following a closely fought affair at the Skuna Stadium.
The hosts defied the odds to match the title favorites throughout the clash, which was ultimately a game where true opportunities were few and far between.
Proceedings began with a minute's silence for Colls Vice-President Howard Monk, who sadly passed away recently following a short illness.
The match was finely balanced from the off, with both teams probing for opportunities to open the scoring.
That opener came with Shields first effort of the day. Debutant Ade Shokunbi initially prompted a fine save from goalkeeper Owen Mooney with a powerful header, but drilled home the rebound to take the lead.
Colls found their feet following the goal, as the visitors struggled to match the difficult conditions of a wet afternoon at the Skuna Stadium, most notably creating chances through Scott Bakkor and Luca Defreitas-Hansen.
The second half was likewise a midfield back and forth, with both sides limiting the opportunities for the other to get a shot away.
A major chance was created through Colls' Ben Hardcastle and Scott Bakkor, who broke down the right flank only for the cross to narrowly miss the feet of Bailey Thompson.
Late substitute Lewis Alessandra secured the result for Shields. A late attack prompted an incredible double save from the on-loan Mooney, but Alessandra was on hand at the third time of asking to seal the win.
Owen Mooney, Clive Smith, Joel Amado, Arran Pettifer (Bailey Thompson 68’), Danny Lafferty (C), Lucas De Freitas-Hansen (Gareth Peet 84’), Ethan Kershaw (Jack Lenehan 72’), Ben Hardcastle, Scott Bakkor, Jay Fitzmartin, Marcus Cusani
Subs not used - Adam Rooney, Jesse Esobele
Man of the Match: Jay Fitzmartin