North Shields earn creditable draw at Berwick Rangers

Robins fan Hope Wait, 3, who has been diagnosed with neurablastoma, was the North Shields mascot against Berwick Rangers.
Robins fan Hope Wait, 3, who has been diagnosed with neurablastoma, was the North Shields mascot against Berwick Rangers.

It was an encouraging day all round for North Shields as they journeyed to Border country to put theit boots on for an early pre-season outing.

The FA Vase holders earned a creditable draw with a performance that delighted boss Graham Fenton.

The Robins’ squad that took on the Scottish League Two side included ten of the Wembley 16 from May with new acquisitions Gary Ormston and David Coulson, both from Dunston, and ex-Darlington defender Jack Walker, all settling in well as they sported a Robins shirt for the first time.

The evergreen Robbie Livermore relished a second half run out whilst former Washington keeper Liam Maloney donned the gloves.

After a morning monsoon the match unwound in glorious sunshine with the hosts pressing early on.

Shields though soon found their rhythm with Denver Morris posing all number of problems for the Berwick back line.

From one Morris teasing cross, a stretching Gareth Bainbridge all but converted.

The Shieldsmen sprayed the ball about stylishly and the Borderers were restricted to long range efforts, with one free kick cannoning off the crossbar.

With the Robins making changes they fell behind on 63 minutes as Callum Helm chased a through ball and was able to slide into an empty net.

Jack Walker came close to levelling but Gary Day did with 76 minutes on the clock as he wriggled clear, dancing past a couple of defenders to find the net via the post with a precision finish.

Either side could have nicked it later on with Maloney saving well, whilst at the other end Dean Walker fired over after fine work from Morris and Day.

North Shields: Maloney, Donnison, McKeown, Richardson, Coulson, Hughes, Morris, Ormston, Bainbridge, Carr, Luccock. Subs: Coppen, Grey, J Walker, Livermore, D Walker, Day.

Shields are next in action on Wednesday, July 15, when they travel to Spennymoor Town for a 7.45pm kick-off.

Meanwhile the Robins have re-signed keeper Sean McCafferty, who represented the club in season 2012-13.

In the FA Cup extra preliminary round Fenton’s men will be away to Bridlington Town on Saturday, August 15.

Bridllington finished eighth in the Northern Counties East League last season -the Robins having visited their Queensgate ground just last year when they took on Scarborough Athletic who groundshare.

The winners of that tie will host Kendal Town.

North Shields’ defence of the FA Vase will not begin until the second round proper as they are exempt from the early stages.