NORTH Shields Cougars kicked off the new season wearing a new kit sponsored by Astryan Decorators and secured a 7-1 win over Newcastle Westgate.
The Cougars started well and passed the ball around using the whole width of the pitch causing the newly promoted Westgate all kinds of problems.
The first goal came courtesy of midfielder and Sunday captain Matthew Wilson, who ghosted past two defenders and poked home from close range.
Last season’s top scorer Tom Craig duly obliged with a quick fire 15-minute hat-trick, with assists from Nathan Young, Joe Knighting and Kieron Aplin.
Cougars looked comfortable with a 4-0 lead as the back four of Kieran Barnes, Jamie Balding, Andrew Mitcheson and Thomas Patterson dealt with everything Westgate could throw at them.
But they conceded a penalty which Sam Terrance had no chance to save.
The first half finished 4-1 with Jairo Simao in outstanding form, protecting the defence and supporting his midfield.
The second half started with the introduction of Harry Clark, Leon Snowdon and Brandon Carr, who made it 5-1.
Carr then set up Joe Knighting to side-foot home and make it 6-1.
Fellow substitute Clark broke from defence and carried the ball the full length of the pitch with outstanding pace and put in a right cross for Jairo to just place wide.
The final goal came from Aplin, who fired in a fantastic screamer from 25 yards and from a tight angle.