NORTH Shields have secured the services of Ben Richardson following his transfer from Washington.
And the midfielder quickly made an impression as he notched his side’s second goal in their latest run-out against the Northern Alliance champions Heaton Stannington.
There was a feast of goals on offer in a cracking first half, with the game settling down after the break as both sides tightened up at the back.
The Robins went behind early before roaring into a two-goal advantage only to be pegged back and finally overtaken by the lively visitors.
There was an element of fortune about Heaton’s opener with Gary Dickson’s effort taking a wicked deflection on its way into the net.
With last season’s player of the year Paul Dunn turning out for the first time, Shields rallied and skipper Keith Douglas cleverly chipped the keeper after 21 minutes.
That sparked another two strikes in as many minutes with Richardson snatching possession and unleashing a beautifully flighted delivery then triallist Ewruje made it 3-1 with a delicate finish.
Stannington, though, were soon back in it with Dickson profiting from a defensive lapse and centre forward Jonathan Wright cutting in to bury the ball with aplomb to restore parity.
A penalty award seven minutes from the interval, converted by Dickson to complete his hat-trick, ended the scoring though Wright saw another drive thud against the bar.
On the turnaround there was promise of further goals and it was the turn of Shields and Danny Patterson in particular to be denied by the woodwork with Heaton, too, threatening to add to their tally only to be thwarted by two fine saves by Michael Robinson.
North Shields were represented by: Robinson, Baistow, Dunn, Richardson, Swinyard, Akinbolu, Hall, P Watson, S Wright, Douglas, Ewruje. Subs: Rowntree, Patterson, Elliott, McCoy, M Watson.
Following their midweek clash with Ashington, North Shields will contest the Gary Hall Memorial Trophy at Percy Main on Saturday, kick off 2pm.