Bainbridge hat-trick as North Shields complete double over Whitley Bay

North Shields had not entertained Whitley Bay in a league match since 1988, but that was before their midweek encounter.

But the Robins are celebrating completing a double over their near neighbours for the first time since Jim Pearson’s team embarked upon a lengthy FA Trophy run in 1984 and triumphed twice by 4-1 in the space of four days.

This time the visitors lined up at the Daren Persson Stadium with ex-Robin Sean McCafferty donning the gloves, but he was left helpless as the prolific Gareth Bainbridge bagged a sensational hat-trick inside the first 41 minutes to ensure the points well and truly belonged to the Shieldsmen.

They opened the scoring on 13 minutes when a John Grey cross posed problems for the visitors with the ball finally falling for Bainbridge to slot home.

The advantage was doubled when a huge punt upfield by Shields keeper Michael Robinson landed at the feet of Bainbridge, but it still needed some work before he gave the Bay custodian no chance.

It was game set and match as Bainbridge then unleashed an absolute scorcher of a strike, this time from the right side.

McCafferty denied Bainbridge a fourth before the break, but at the turnaround there was to be no way back for Bay.

At Hillheads earlier in the campaign it was 4-0 to Shields and victory was just about assured at half-time.

Three down this time, Whitley never gave up but they never looked like reducing the deficit in a comfortable win for the Robins.

There were almost 1,500 at the game.