Robins continue unbeaten run

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ONCE North Shields FC broke the deadlock after 55 minutes there was only going to be one outcome.

The Shieldsman went on to proudly notch up their record breaking 19th game unbeaten with skipper Keith Douglas making it 30 for the season with his fifth hatrick.

Before then, in a dour and frustrating first half for the hosts, lowly Seaham clearly displayed their intentions of coming for a point with their spoiling tactics whilst some crude tackling was dealt leniently with by the referee.

Both sides lost players through injury early on, Shields lost their play-maker Mark Rasmussen and Seaham Colin Wright, with the visitors’ Michael Turnbull later sent off for two reckless challenges.

Shields’ last home match was exactly one month previous - the 1-0 verdict over Team Northumbria - and this time Keeper Craig Pickering, signed from Morpeth Town, made his second appearance and a second clean sheet though he scarcely was troubled by the Seaham strike force.

The County Durham outfit included at centre half Richard Goodman, who turned out for the Robins against Red Star in a FA Cup tie at Seaham Town Park back in last August when Andy Wright notched a late winner, whilst Shields striker Michael Pattison was itching to do well against his former club.

Andy Hay’s quite brilliant effort that grazed the post, a Femi Akinbolu header and a couple of mesmeric James Luccock runs were the highlights of the opening 45 minutes whilst Jon Monaghan spurned the visitors best chance as he screwed his effort wide with just pickering to beat.

Luccock rattled the crossbar with a free kick as the second half unwound as Shields, with full back Danny Patterson again stirring the crowd with his surging runs, strove for a breakthrough.

That came when a Luccock short corner found Douglas, whose silky skills on the by-line resulted in John Hall smashing in the centre from close range.

It was another moment of magic from Douglas who went on to boost his goals tally with his second three-some against Seaham.

Robbie Livermore, outstanding in midfield, cleverly beat the offside trap to set up a Douglas tap-in then Seaham’s woes intensified with Turbull’s dismissal.

It was 3-0 on 79 minutes with Ross Atkinson unleashing a blistering drive that came back off the woodwork for Douglas to tuck away then the Shields number ten took a through ball in his stride to produce a neat dink over the keeper.

Shields’ celebrations were later enhanced when news that promotion rivals Whickham had suffered a home defeat to North Allerton, came through.

North Shields: Pickering, Hall, Petterson, Livermore, Robinson, Akinbolu (Graham 81), Rasmussen (Atkinson 16), Page, Hay (Pattison 70), Douglas, Luccock.

Subs not used: Bowman, Woodhouse.

North Shields are at Brandon on Saturday (3pm) having beaten the Welfare side 4-0 earlier in the campaign at the Daren Persson Stadium.

It will be a poignant trip as last year the robins won 3-2 in the corresponding fixture, and after Luccock and Akinbolu had notched, the late Anthony Lowther despatched the winner from the penalty spot.