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Match Report: South Shields 1-0 Buxton

South Shields defeated Buxton 1-0 at 1st Cloud Arena to keep their unbeaten home record intact in Vanarama National League North.

After a goalless first half, Shields opened the scoring with half an hour to go through a Paul Blackett header.

The victory moved the Mariners level on points with Tamworth at the top of the table.

Shields made one change from Saturday’s win over Tamworth, with Lirak Hasani replacing the injured Michael Woods. Meanwhile, Buxton’s star man Diego De Girolamo was only named on the Bucks’ bench.

The first chance came in the 32nd minute after a slow start from both sides, with Blackett seeing his shot saved one-on-one after he was played through by Hasani.

Buxton came within inches of opening the scoring two minutes before half-time as Eoin McKeown struck the crossbar with a curling effort after cutting in from the left hand side. The follow-up was well blocked by Shields captain Blair Adams.

The Mariners were left frustrated at the end of the first half after a series of contentious decisions, with Jed Abbev picking up a booking for dissent after a penalty appeal.

Shields had another penalty appeal waved away in the 58th minute despite it appearing that a Buxton player handled in the area after falling onto the ball.

However, the Mariners quickly put that behind them to open the scoring on the hour mark when CJ Clarke’s cross picked out Blackett, whose looping header found the top corner.

Clarke continued to cause problems for the Bucks’ defence venturing forward from right-back. He delivered another dangerous ball across the Buxton goal after winning possession high up, but it was eventually scrambled to safety.

Clarke then came close to securing the three points in added time when he made a lung-busting run from midfield before firing just wide from inside the area.

The Mariners held on for the three points despite a last minute mix-up between John Lufudu, Gary Liddle and Myles Boney led to Buxton firing just wide on the final whistle.

The clean sheet means South Shields have now kept nine consecutive clean sheets at the 1st Cloud Arena in all competitions.

South Shields: Boney, Clarke, Adams (c), Liddle, Broadbent, Smith (Briggs 81), Hasani (Lufudu 77), Abbey, Heaney (Martin 68), Blackett, Mongoy. Subs not used: Morse, James.

Goal: Blackett (60).

Attendance: 1,868.

Image: Kev Wilson.

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