A record crowd of more than 1,800 packed into Mariners Park as South Shields saw off Hebburn Town to move a win away from the title.
The South Tyneside derby had been rearranged from Boxing Day, and fans turned out in force.
The home crowd was rewarded as goals from Martyn Coleman and Ben Riding handed Shields a deserved victory.
Hebburn battled well throughout, though, as they have done in all three fixtures between the sides this season.
Early on, in particular, they were threatening, with Mariners goalkeeper Josh Richardson having to palm behind a cross from Ross Toward before saving from Chris Smith.
At the other end, Michael Turner went close with a header, while Robert Briggs struck a superb free-kick against the crossbar as his curled effort left Hebburn goalkeeper Steven Hubery well beaten.
Hebburn looked capable of causing problems in the first half, and almost took the lead when Richardson dropped a cross and Marc Costello saw a shot blocked.
The ball broke for Callum Smith outside the box, and he placed an effort which was destined for the bottom corner before Richardson excellently tipped it wide.
Ben Riding sent a glorious chance well wide from a Robert Briggs free-kick, but Shields found the breakthrough six minutes before half-time.
A ball was lofted over the top down the right for Coleman, and with Hubery rushing out of the box to close the angle, the striker lifted it over him with a brilliant lob which found the net from 25 yards.
The crowd of 1,827 erupted, and in the second half, those of a Mariners persuasion were able to enjoy a more comfortable time.
Briggs and Coleman went close, but it was Riding who made it 2-0 a quarter of an hour before the end when he headed in a superb Briggs free-kick at the back post.
Chances were limited in the closing stages, but Shields had done enough to move within a victory of the Northern League Division Two championship.
There had been a party atmosphere at Mariners Park, with many fans wearing Christmas jumpers and Santa hats to reflect the original date of the fixture, Boxing Day.
Shields will seal the title if they claim maximum points at Crook Town on Saturday.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Richardson, Smith, Turner, Hall (Hassan 76), Carson, Riding, Briggs, Scroggins (c), Ramsey (Foley 51) Coleman (Byrne 71), Arca. Subs not used: Pocklington, Teasdale.
Goals: Coleman (39), Riding (75).
HEBBURN TOWN: Hubery, Toward, Wallace, Pegram, Christopher Smith, Summers, Malley, Costello, North (c), Callum Smith, Morris. Subs: McMahon, Watson, Rodgers, McIntosh, Hargrave.