Four in a row for Robins

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NORTH Shields chalked up their 12th point from the last 12 on offer to continue their momentum up the table.

It’s now six wins in seven outings for the Shieldsmen and calls from team boss Graham Fenton for more consistency from his squad certainly seem to be heeded.

Rob Nolan only made his debut for the Robins in mid-September but already has nine goals to his name and takes over from Keith Douglas as his side’s leading marksman after celebrating a second hat-trick for the club.

Seven days earlier the Tynesiders had to dig deep to see off Alnwick’s challenge with defenders Joe Elliott and Femi Akinbolu on song.

On Saturday for the visit to Horden CW, both were unavailable so in came replacements James Harmison, recently sidelined through injury plus Kevin Hughes, last season’s player’s player of the year for only his second outing of the campaign.

Again the Shields back line looked solid and commanding with the hosts posing little threat to Sean McCafferty’s goal throughout the 90 minutes.

In midfield the tenacious pairing of Ben Richardson and Adam Forster once more ran the show with skipper Dan Patterson chipping in after sporting an unfamiliar number 11 shirt.

Shields had an opportunity to lead with 14 minutes on the clock after Richardson was upended in the box but joint golden boot winner Dean Holmes sent his spot kick over the bar.

Six minutes on though Forster was brought down, this time Nolan was entrusted with the penalty and he made no mistake.

Holmes and Nolan were live wires up front, the former drilling one shot inches wide then forcing a fine save from keeper Steven Hubery and, on the half hour mark, a neat turn and drive from Nolan made it 2-0.

Shields continued to spray the ball about after the break with Hubery blocking from Nolan and tipping over from Holmes then thwarting Phil Robinson, who was making his first appearance as substitute since being injured in the Vase tie at Liversedge.

Michael McKeown’s snap shot almost caught out the keeper and Horden full back Andrew Upperton nearly turned a Patterson cross into his own net before the hosts rallied in the closing minutes.

Adam Croft rifled just over and Paul Johnson saw an attempt blocked by a fellow player with McCafferty rolling the ball out quickly, Nolan gathered and advanced to coolly convert his third to put the seal on a convincing display from the visitors.

North Shields: McCafferty, Hook (Robinson 50), McKeown, Forster (Hay 74), Harmison, Hughes, Hall, Richardson, Nolan, Holmes (P Watson 65), Patterson. Subs not used): Douglas, Wright.

North Shields host Birtley Town on Saturday, kick-off 3pm. The sides have already met twice this season, in the FA Cup with the Robins losing the replay.

Forthcoming games in November are: Thursday, November 8, Brandon United, away; Saturday, November 10, Seaham Red Star, home; Wednesday, November 14, Darlington RA, home (Northern League Cup); Saturday, November 17, Stokesley, away; Wednesday, November 21, West Allotment Celtic, away (Northumberland Senior Cup); Saturday, November 24, Whickham, home; Tuesday, November 27, Tow Law Town, away.