Workington Reds' bid to stave off relegation just got even harder after promotion chasing South Shields stuck the boot in last night.

Shields won the clash at Borough Park 2-0 courtesy of a penalty and a free kick which leaves Reds floundering with just four games remaining of the season.

Workington started the game without the services of skipper Gari Rowntree, Josh Calvert and Brad Hubbold, all missing through injury and illness, as they took on second placed South Shields, who were just as eager as the home side to earn points as they hunt for the league title.

But Reds had a bright start and were putting some pressure on their high flying visitors with good work from Scott Allison and Jordan Holt combining to get in a good cross looking for Jason Walker.

The forward looked to turn and get a shot in but he was closed down quickly and South Shields managed to get the ball away.

But South Shields were also quick on the counter and looked dangerous but Nathan Lowe's initial effort went safely into the arms of keeper Aaran Taylor.

Jason Walker won a free kick 25 yards out after he was brought down but Dave Symington's powerful effort just went wide of the mark.

Matty Douglas made a vital interception just in front of his own goal when Daly put a dangerous looking cross into a crowded box. It went out for a corner but in the end the final effort from Shields was wild and the ball went out of play.

Conor Tinnion looked to dance his way through the South Shields defence and turned to take a shot but again it was over the mark and after the first quarter the game remained goalless.

Shields won a corner as they looked to get the vital first goal and it was aimed for the tall figure of Ben Harmison, but the final touch off the head of Dillon Morse went over Taylor's bar.

Then at the other end of the field Tinnion floated in a free kick that was flicked on by Dan Wordsworth towards Sam Smith but he was closed down and the visitors cleared the danger.

But all Reds' hard work was took apart in the 41st minute when a Shields player went down in the area under a challenge from Wordsworth and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.

It was Briggs who stepped up to take on Taylor and he hammered it past him into the net to give South Shields a one goal advantage just before the break.

Reds had a good start to the second half as they tested the keeper early on, Tinnion got the ball, took aim and fired and it took a good save from Liam Connell, gathered at the second attempt to halt its passage.

But they were also having to put in some stout defending as South Shields were on the hunt for that crucial second goal to add to their advantage.

Reds won a free kick in the 61st minute as Craig Baxter received a yellow card for his tackle on Dan Carmichael that left the Workington player on the deck but still the home side could not make it count.

As the home side were attacking, Cowperthwaite's little nudge of the ball was intercepted and South Shields raced away with sub Lee Mason down the left hand side, Tinnion just checking him before he could get the cross in.

The home side looked to change their options as Kieran Maguire replaced Dan Carmichael just as South Shields won a free kick in a dangerous position.

And it proved fatal for Reds as Nathan Lowe stepped up to take it and he curled it through the defence and into the corner of Taylor's net to make it 2-0.

Symington put in a great cross in extra time right across the face of the goal but nobody could get on the end of the ball and a late effort from Walker also went narrowly wide and that summed up Reds night as the final whistle sounded for another home defeat.