THE wheels haven’t quite come off the Robins’ promotion push as this resounding victory on the west coast on Tuesday evening proved.
North Shields FC were simply sensational as they swept aside the Cumbrian challenge with some breathtaking football.
It was Whitehaven who ended the Robins 20 match unbeaten run with a 1-0 verdict on Tyneside but they just couldn’t cope with Shield’s incisive moves right from the off as revenge was so sweet.
Robbie Livermoore led the side out and went on to earn Man of the Match ratings but this was essentially a performance in which every player shone.
Quickly out of the starting blocks Shields went close twice before they took a ninth minute lead.
A stretching Livermore almost converted a James Luccock cross at the far post then Mark Rasmussen and Keith Douglas combined for Jonathan Hall to fire inches over.
The Robins continued to spray the ball about with panache and were rewarded when Femi Akinbolu cleverly set up Douglas, who made no mistake.
Akinbolu then supplied Luccock, who was denied by keeper Jack Fryer’s outstretched leg, then Hall finally met a Rasmussen centre but his header only just cleared the bar.
The hosts first seriously threatened after 20 minutes when Craig Robson drilled the ball across goal and wide of the upright but play soon returned to the other end as Shields strove to extend their advantage.
Douglas was twice unfortunate, turning beautifully to send a measured chip that Fryer somehow tipped behind, then the Shields top scorer headed a Rasmussen free kick home only for the award to be re-taken.
Akinbolu latched upon a long Craig Pickering clearance to rifle marginally past the upright then Fryer held on to a Phil Cartwright effort.
Despite being under the cosh the Cumbrians had a chance to equalise but Kevin Connelly was off target from close range before Shields roared into a three goal lead with strikes in the 42 and 44 minutes.
Fryer saved from Douglas with his foot but from the resultant corner, taken by Luccock, Hall jubilantly nodded in at the near post then Rasmussen neatly found Douglas who teed up Akinbolu to finish with Aplomb and notch his first goal of the campaign.
Douglas made it 34 for the season when he tucked away his side’s fourth in the 52 minute to quell any thoughts of a home comeback.
Fryer blocked from Livermore and a Luccock first timer looped inches over before the hosts engineered a few openings late on in search of a consolation, but the Robins were resolute and determined to keep a clean sheet to deserve the after match accolades.
North Shields: Pickering, Douglas (Bowman, 77), Akinbolu, Luccock, Rasmussen, Livermore, Page, Hall Cartwright, Atkinson (Hay, 57) Elliot (Graham, 65)
Subs not used: Woodhouse, Fenton