Robins just miss out against League Cup holders

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North Shields faced their sixth away game in the league and a narrow loss made it three wins and three defeat against some of their toughest opponents.

The Shieldsmen lined up at the League Cup holders aiming to dent their unbeaten record, boosted with the return of strikers Gareth Bainbridge, Dean Holmes and Dean Walker.

The sides last met in 2010/11 at Mount Pleasant in a 1-1 draw with Keith Douglas claiming the Robins strike whilst James Luccock, Joe Elliott and Robbie Livermore who all played that day were all on the Shields bench this time round.

The Tynesiders started brightly with both Bainbridge and Denver Morris both seeing efforts flash inches wide.

Two goals in as many minutes midway through the first period swung the advantage to the hosts with Craig Gott rifling in a free kick and Jamie Owens producing a crisp finish.

Bainbridge headed wide from a superb Holmes cross but Shields were right back in it on 50 minutes as Bainbridge slotted home.

Marske forward Sam Garvie forced a fingertip save from Chris Bannon but the visitors were caught out pushing up and Owens was able to dink the ball past the keeper.

On 69 minutes though Shields had concerted claims for a penalty kick inexplicably waved away as home custodian Robert Dean was forced to head clear only as far as Walker, whose goalbound shot was only kept out by the most blatant of handballs.

Feeling aggrieved the Robins were unable to reduce the deficit until stoppage time when centre half John Parker scrambled in from a corner to make it 3-2.

North Shields: Bannon, Donnison, Grey (Turner 40), Coppen, Parker, Hughes, Morris, Wrightson, Bainbridge, Walker (Smart 71), Holmes. Subs (not used): Elliott, Livermore, Luccock.