Morris earns North Shields deserved draw at Spennymoor

Denver Morris proved troublesome to the Spennymoor defenders and capped his game off with a well taken strike.

Denver Morris proved troublesome to the Spennymoor defenders and capped his game off with a well taken strike.

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A late Denver Morris equaliser gave North Shields a share of the spoils in their pre-season friendly at Spennymoor Town on Saturday.

The Robins’ attacker produced a sublime finish just as the whistle brought an end to the contest at Brewery Field.

There was a show of respect before the kick-off when the home side, winners of the FA Vase in 2013, formed a gurd of honour for the current trophy holders.

But at the end of a valued workout at the home of the Evostik Division 1 North club, the two quality sides could not be separated.

North Shields player of the year John Parker lined up for the first time as Shields named a starting 11 which included four new acquisitions in defenders David Coulson and Jack Walker plus midfielder Gary Ormston and keeper Sean McCafferty.

Shields were bright and breezy from the off with Michael McKeown in superb form as they kicked up the slope.

A deserved lead came after 16 minutes when McKeown delivered a perfect centre following a short corner and Ryan Carr was there to find the net past home keeper Dan Lowson.

But the Moors found some rhythm and Liam Henderson levelled with a near post finish on the half hour.

Disaster then struck for the Robins when keeper McCafferty was stretchered off in his first game back. Wembley hero Chris Bannon was brought into the proceedings on to don the gloves.

In an entertaining spectacle it was the hosts who edged ahead after the turnaround with a shot rattling the crossbar and ex-Shieldsman Glen Taylor first to react to the loose ball.

Shields, though, were undaunted and delighted their large travelling support by pressing again and again.

But they missed a glorious chance to draw level when McKeown supplied Adam Forster who was unceremoniously clattered in the area. But Ben Richardson’s spot kick was saved.

Then with time running out Richardson’s brilliant through ball picked out Morris and his excellent finish was relished by the travelling support as the final whistle blew at 2-2.

Next up for the Robins after their 2-1 win at Northern Alliance side Walker Central on Saturday was a cross-Tyne derby at South Shields on Wednesday evening.

On Saturday the Shieldsmen travel to Percy Main to compete for the annual Gary Hull Memorial Trophy. Kick-off 3pm.

Then it is up to Team Northumbria on Wednesday, July 29, for a 7.30pm kick-off.

At Walker on Saturdy, Dean Walker was twice denied by the woodwork but excellent finishes from Morris and Gareth Bainbridge had the Shieldsmen in the ascendancy, though the plucky hosts did pull one back.

North Shields: McCafferty, J Walker, Grey, McKeown, Parker, Coulson, Morris, Richardson, Bainbridge, Carr, Ormston. Subs: Hughes, Bannon, Coppen, Forster, D Walker.