South Shields moved back to the top of the Evo-Stik North Division – but endured a frustrating night against Tadcaster Albion.
Shields were held to a 0-0 draw at Mariners Park last night as they struggled to find their rhythm.
The result left the top five teams in the league separated by just three points, with the Mariners scheduled to host fourth-placed Hyde United on Saturday.
They dominated most of the possession against Tadcaster, but were unable to create enough clear-cut opportunities to claim maximum points.
Julio Arca curled an effort wide from 25 yards on the quarter-hour mark, before Gavin Cogdon had a superb chance to open the scoring.
He was found by a superb cross from the right by Alex Nicholson, but could only screw his shot wide from a good position.
Carl Finnigan was the next to go close after Cogdon pulled the ball back to him on the edge of the box, with former Sunderland goalkeeper Michael Ingham keeping out his low effort.
The closest Shields came in the whole match was in the 37th minute, when Finnigan had one effort saved by Ingham before seeing the follow-up acrobatically cleared off the line.
It was shaping up to be one of those nights, with Ingham on hand to repel a Matty Pattison free-kick before half-time.
Tadcaster started the second half well, and twice went close.
A Liam Connell clearance bounced against Corey Stewart and went just past the post, while Aiden Savory flashed an effort wide soon after.
Shields suffered a major blow just after the hour when Cogdon pulled up with a hamstring injury and had to be replaced.
They did build some momentum midway through the second half, with substitute Jamie Holmes twice going close with attempts from the edge of the area.
It slowly petered out, though, with Jon Shaw having to clear one Tadcaster shot off the line to save the Mariners.
Shields did have two chances in the final stages, but Graeme Armstrong skewed an effort wide and Finnigan could not find a way past Ingham.
They know they will have to improve to get the better of Hyde on Saturday.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Nicholson, Lough, Shaw, Morse, Arca (c), Wright (Briggs 58), Storey, Cogdon (Armstrong 61), Pattison (Holmes 58), Finnigan. Subs not used: Baxter, Richardson.