Holmes reaches goal-den milestone

North Shields 4-1 Stockton Town

Dean Holmes scored a brace on his 250th North Shields appearance as they saw off Stockton Town.

Holmes made it the perfect milestone with a goal in either half, applying two well-placed finishes. Lee Mason also added a brace to his name.

The Robins were fast out the traps as two goals in the opening 16 minutes from Holmes and Mason put the hosts in control.

Stockton piled on some pressure at the beginning of the second-half but Shields resisted any attacks as Holmes settled game with his second brace in three days.

Late action appeared as Dale Mulligan grabbed a consolation goal to make it 3-1 but Mason restored Shields’ three goal advantage.

That’s now three wins in a row for Brian Smith’s men.

Shields were facing Stockton for the first time in their history.

Shields began the game brightly and their directness into the box paid off as Holmes netted after 10 minutes.

Luccock produced another deadly deep cross, which was picked up by Mason. The number 10 then brilliantly beat his man at the by-line before the ball fell to Holmes, who buried it into the bottom corner.

And six minutes later it was 2-0l. This time, it was a moment of brilliance from Mason who from 30-yards out, let fly as his shot rippled into the top corner.

Holmes then crossed into the near post as Kerridge’s neat flick was turned onto the post by keeper Michael Arthur.

Stockton did briefly hit back in a good five-minute period, though with Kyle Hayes and a few let-offs, Shields maintained their two-goal advantage.

In the second half, with the introduction fresh legs, Shields cruised to victory.

Carr and McFarlane opened up the Town backline once more as Holmes had time to slot home his second and make it four goals in a week via the bottom corner on 75 minutes.

The visitors did grab a consolation goal right at the death as a corner-kick was headed over the line by Mulligan despite Kevin Hughes’ best efforts to clear.

However, the two-goal difference didn’t last for long as Mason raced forward into the box and fired the ball past Arthur as it ended 4-1