DEPLETED SHIELDS MATCH LEADERS

SOUTH SHIELDS shrugged off the lack of their first choice strike force to earn a 2-2 draw with Division Two leaders Consett.

Promotion-chasing Shields were without both top scorer Craig Tate, who still has four weeks of a suspension to serve, while injury has ruled out Micky Haley for up to two months.

But they got away to a dream start when Malcolm Reay's ninth minute drive was parried by Jim Platten, and David Stephenson put away the rebound.

The Steelmen replied quickly, and Darren Grimes's quick 14th minute free kick caught out the defence to leave Michael Pitt with a tap-in.

Consett's cause wasn't helped when ex-Mariner Peter Kirkham was sent off for swearing just before the break despite pleas of mistaken identity.

However, the 10 men - who had failed to win their previous three league games with Shields and Hebburn this season - made light of the dismissal as defender Steve Ireland broke from deep to round Craig Shields and regain the lead on 55 minutes.

Back came the Mariners to dominate and produce a peach of an equaliser, Micky Irving blasting his perfect 25-yard shot into the top corner after a 72nd minute cross was cleared to him.

HEBBURN TOWN's trip to Northallerton Town - another side with promotion dreams - ended goalless.

Northallerton old boy Graham Curry and his central defensive partner John Burrell starred for Hebburn in one of the better 0-0 encounters.

The home side's best spell came at the start, with Steve Pennock hitting a post and both Ross Foreman and David Onions being denied by superb Mark English saves.

Hebburn had plenty of their own chances as the game progressed, but Robert Marsden had two shots blocked, one by Craig Winter - son of Premiership referee Jeff - and one by team-mate Paul Wilson.

Paul Donaghy shaved the bar with a header and Gary Donaldson lifted a late chance over both keeper and bar.

In Division One, JARROW ROOFING's bad week ended with a stoppage-time 3-2 home defeat by Billingham Town.

The Roofers had seen their Durham Challenge Cup dreams dashed in a semi-final exit four days earlier.

And a return to league duty saw their hopes of a top-three finish dented by a Town side still harbouring hopes of pulling off a DCC semi shock at favourites Spennymoor.

Roofing went behind on 38 minutes when Adam Johnston was dispossessed deep in Town territory, and a swift break was finished by a Carl Chillingsworth volley.

Two minutes later, Roofing levelled when Paul Chow got his head to a corner just before the keeper could catch.

Home midfielder Craig Price was sent off four minutes after the break for a second booking, and it looked grim when Chillingsworth hooked in his second.

But two minutes from time, Roofing looked to have saved a point when Chow took his season's tally to 32 after Chris McCabe's shot had come back off a post.

It wasn't to be, as with two minutes of added time played, Stuart Jackson fired in the winner at a corner.

TEAMS

Shields: Shields; S & A Liddle, Graham, Banks; Stoker, Reay, Anderson, Irving; Stephenson, Hopper.

Hebburn: English; Handy, Curry, Burrell, Tweedy; Donaghy, Hymers, Wilson; Marsden, Donaldson, Oldroyd (Ord 80)

Roofing: Caffrey; Ward (Rose 75), Milner, Bendelow, Quinn; Cogdon, Price, McCabe, Johnston (Brabbs 70); Nelson, Chow.