A take of two penalties as Athletic are held by United

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NORTH Shields Athletic kicked off their Northern Alliance league season with a draw at Cramlington United.

Shields began brightly and in the fourth minute a Glen Churchman free kick won a corner from which Ant Errington went close

On 15 minutes Craig Boyle chipped the Cramlington keeper but his effort struck the post.

The visitors then lost keeper Dean Bolam, who was replaced by Tal Campbell after he fell heavily when coming down from taking a high ball.

Cramlington went close midway through the half before Athletic’s John Wyers was denied.

It was the home side who took the lead when a long ball launched upfield deceived substitute keeper Campbell and it bounced over the stranded keeper’s head and into the net.

After a period of Cramlington pressure, Matty Donkin was denied an equaliser when the keeper pushed his effort round the post.

In first half injury time Shields were awarded a penalty and Anthony Keith sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 1-1.

In the second half, Donkin twice went close for Athletic before Churchman was denied by the keeper.

Then a Karl Morrison through ball played in Wyers and he in turn set up Donkin to close.

Wyers then hit the post before United were given a glorious chance of regaining the lead when awarded a penalty.

However, the spot kick was put well wide.

North Shields Athletic: D Bolam, A Pollack, R Wilkinson, A Errington, J Tait, A Keith, G Farrage, G Churchman, M Donkin, C Boyle, J Wyers. Subs: A Skipsey, T Campbell, T Cowx, K Morrison.