New North Shields manager draws a blank in first game

North Shields' Gareth Bainbridge.
North Shields' Gareth Bainbridge.

Jon McDonald’s first game in charge of North Shields ended in stalemate as his side drew 0-0 at Sunderland RCA.

A strong Robins team was given the task of impressing the new manager while maintaining an unbeaten start to their league campaign.

Neither side looked dangerous in the opening ten minutes. The first chance fell to Shields striker Gareth Bainbridge after a cross from Dean Holmes was met by the number nine who headed just wide.

RCA immediately replied, forcing Sean McCafferty to make what turned out to be his only save of the game.

Just before the half hour Shields looked certain to score, but Ryan Carr’s well placed header was somehow kept out by the RCA keeper with an excellent save.

The Robins were then left frustrated after three appeals for handball were waved away by the referee.

The second half started the same as the first, with both sides struggling in front of goal.

Shields eventually had the ball in the back of the net on the 56th minute after Lee Mason and Bainbridge linked up well, however, the assistant referee’s flag went up for offside.

Substitutes Ben Richardson and Peter Glen-Ravenhill were then called into action, replacing Adam Forster and Carr.

RCA’s Kieran Day went in hard on Mason which resulted in a yellow card.

Robert Taylor was brought on for Mason in 74th minute and the tactical change almost paid off seven minutes from time as Bainbridge was played in after Marc Lancaster and Taylor linked up as the former played the ball across the box only for Bainbridge’s shot to hit the post and go behind in for a goal kick.

Deep into added time, Bainbridge was involved again but this time he went into the referee’s book after a 50-50 challenge with the keeper.

Shields remain unbeaten in the Northern League and on Saturday night were still only behind leaders South Shields on goal difference after they were held by Newcastle Benfield.

Saturday’s game also marked skipper Kevin Hughes’ 200th appearance for the club.

Next up its Dunton UTS at home on Wednesday, September 21, ahead of Sunderland RCA visiting the Daren Persson Stadium on Saturday, September 24, then West Auckland are the visitors on Wednesday, September 28.

North Shields: McCafferty, Donnison, Hughes, Coppen, Lancaster, Forster (Glen-Ravenhill), Ormston, Holmes, Carr (Richardson), Bainbridge, Mason (Taylor).