Derby delight as 'Shields beat 'Bay
Two goals from Callum Johnston and Bobby Taylor helped the Robins to a 2-0 win over close rivals Whitley Bay on a cold Saturday afternoon.
A closely fought first half saw both sides have chances, however, a Johnston penalty was enough to separate the two teams at the break.
Bobby Taylor’s strike midway through the second period gave the hosts the two-goal cushion that they were searching for.
And despite some late pressure applied by the visitors, the Robins comfortably held on for an impressive home victory.
Marc made a number of changes to the side which lost in midweek and one of those changes, Craig Spooner, had the first chance of the game. Following some impressive build up play, Taylor’s deft pass enabled the ex-Newcastle United midfielder to have a shot at goal, however, his effort arrowed inches wide of the post.
With the wind starting to pick up, both teams struggled to maintain possession of the ball.
Ryan Carr was the next Robin to try his luck at the Whitley goal in the 19th minute, only for the striker to slice his effort wide.
Not to be put off by that miss, Carr was at it again in the 25th minute when he was released through on goal, however, Chris Bannon came rushing off his line to bravely smother the ball at the striker’s feet.
As the half went on, it seemed that both teams were going to enter the break level, however, in the 38th minute, Jordan Summerly was brought down in the box by Bannon to earn the Robins a penalty.
Making his first start for the Robins, Johnston stepped up to beat the keeper to his right and score his first goal in a Shields shirt.
The hosts had the bit between their teeth and started the second half in complete control.
In the 53rd minute, some excellent link up play between Taylor and Carr enabled Jack Donnison to burst into the box, however, after controlling the ball, he blazed over from close range.
However, only two minutes later, the Whitley Bay defence failed to deal with another flowing attacking move and Taylor was on hand to rifle the ball past Bannon on the angle to double the Robins lead.
Only some resolute defending from the Robins kept the visitors at bay. Despite this, the Robins still found time to create attacks of their own with Adam Forster having his effort deflected narrowly behind by a retreating defender in the 68th minute.
Whitley tried to fight their way back into the game but they were denied by a mixture of brilliant defending and poor finishing.