Goals shared as Robins fly
Five goals from five different scorers helped North Shields to a 5-2 win over Consett as the Robins won heavily for the second weekend in a row.
Shields took the lead through Richard Pell midway through the first half, but were quickly pegged back by Michael Mackay.
A frantic start to the second half saw Gary Ormston put Shields in front, before Michael Sweet levelled for Consett. Shields made it 3-2 shortly after, with Adam Forster drilling home.
Craig McFarlane added a fourth with twenty minutes to go, before Gareth Bainbridge put the game beyond doubt late on.
Consett started well, and could have wrapped the game up in the first 15 minutes, but Sweet, MacKay and then Nicholas Cassidy all saw their efforts saved by Sean McCafferty.
Shields were struggling with the heavy pitch, but started to grow in to the game with Mason and Ben Sampson both forcing saves out of Consett’s veteran keeper James Platten.
Shields kept pushing forwards and took the lead when a deep Lee Mason corner found the head of Pell at the far post in the 22nd minute. Mason then had the chance to score himself, but was denied by Platten.
Consett had been struggling, but were level after half an hour with Danny Craggs slipping in Mackay who slotted past McCafferty.
McFarlane came close to putting Shields in front after getting in behind the defence, but his fierce effort went just wide of Platten’s right hand post.
Consett ended the half with two huge chances to take the lead. McCafferty decided to play the role of sweeper and charged out to head the ball, but slipped, gifting Sweet a chance, only for Consett’s top-scorer to be denied by a great goal-line block from Pell.
Consett were awarded a freekick on the edge of the box, which Craggs looked to have hit right into the top corner, but the ball hit the post and bounced out with Shields clearing the danger.
The second half got off to a very busy start, with three goals coming in the first 10 minutes. North Shields were awarded a penalty just 32 seconds in after Forster was fouled in the box. Ormston stepped up, putting the ball just out of Platten’s reach in his bottom left corner to put the Robins in front.
The lead didn’t last long though, Consett went straight down the other end and an inch perfect cross from Jordan Lavery was tapped in by Sweet at the far post.
Consett were level for only a matter of minutes. With 52 minutes on the clock, Forster got in behind the visitor’s defence and drilled the ball past Platten to restore North Shields’ lead.
Shields were starting to carve Consett open and if not for Platten would have had a healthier lead. Forster and Ben Harmison came close to extending the lead, but neither were able to get clean contact as the ball bobbled around the box.
Platten was called in to action again moments later and pulled off a fantastic save to keep out Harmison’s header from point-blank range.
Consett still looked dangerous when going forwards and could have levelled through Sweet, but the Consett striker’s half-volley struck the post and bounced clear.
Shields seemed to be constantly getting in behind the Consett defence and while Platten was equal to most efforts, McFarlane slotted past the 39-year-old keeper to make it 4-2 to Shields with 73 minutes gone.
With the game drawing to a close, Shields went for another goal and while the Consett defence appealed for an offside against McFarlane, substitute Bainbridge strolled through unchallenged to go one-on-one with Platten and wrap up a comprehensive victory for the Robins.