Robins through to Senior Cup semi-finals

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NORTH Shields, who notched five goals in the previous round of the Northumberland Senior Cup against Alnwick Town, went one better against West Allotment to take their place in the semi-finals.

It was six of the nest from the Robins, superbly led by skipper Dan Paterson in his 100th game for the club.

Allotment, who had been rattling in goals themselves in recent games, were sunk by some clinical finishing from Graham Fenton’s side.

Home assistant manager Wilf Keilty, the former Shields stalwart, had no complaints as he watched his side overrun by the Robins’ dynamic midfielders and was lavish in his praise of the visitors performance.

Five different names appeared on the Shields scoresheet, with Keith Douglas an early marksman, tucking away a Joe Elliott centre on 24 minutes.

But the lead was short-lived as Allotment threatened to make a game of it and David Dormand converted following a free kick to make it all square.

On the half hour mark, leading marksman Rob Nolan restored his side’s advantage with a superb solo effort, but on the turnaround, the hosts were still in with a shout.

Shields, though, soared into a 4-1 lead by the 58th minute with Nolan on target again after he latched onto a through ball from the influential Michael McKeown.

Then Nolan turned provider, setting up fellow striker Dean Holmes, who gave ex-Shields keeper Ryan Beal no chance.

The Robins were rampant by now and, continuing to probe, two rasping drives from Ben Richardson and substitute Adam Rowntree were the icing on the cake.

North Shields: McCafferty, Elliott (Hook 57), Patterson, McKeown, Harmison, Akinbolu, Forster, Richardson, Nolan (Rowntree 77), Douglas, Holmes (Wrightson 59). Subs not used: Hall, M Robinson. Man of the match: Michael McKeown.

Three days later the same starting 11 and five substitutes earned a convincing 3-0 verdict over Whickham at the Daren Persson Stadium to pocket three more priceless Northern League points.

Fenton’s side have struck a rich vein of form and have won 12, drawn one and lost only one of their last 14 league and cup fixtures.

Michael McKeown drove in a 14th minute opener but that was Shields’ only reward in a first period they dominated against their mid-table opponents.

Dean Holmes was the provider of a succession of crosses from the left flank that begged for a touch, keeper Scott Cresswell spectacularly tipped over from Rob Nolan, Ben Richardson glanced a header just wide and Femi Akinbolu saw an effort deflected onto the bar with the last kick of the first half.

After the break, Adam Forster and James Harmison were just off target before more fine work by Forster enabled Douglas to pounce on 59 minutes.

McKeown and Holmes then carved open the visitors defence once more and Douglas was lurking, perfectly positioned to bag his second and put the points to bed.

Whickham rarely posed any problems to Sean McCafferty as Shields kept a fifth clean sheet in their last seven league outings.

On Saturday North Shields are at Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, kick-off 3pm, before entertaining Thornaby on Wednesday, December 5 (7.30pm).