'Shields make it 15 in a row in league
North Shields made it 15 league wins in a row as they comfortably held off the challenge of Bishop Auckland on Saturday.
A goal in either half from Dan Wilson and Ryan Carr, alongside a solid defensive display, secured another massive three points as the Robins went 17 points clear at the top of the Northern League division one table.
Shields made one change from the side that beat Shildon the previous week, with Craig McFarlane replacing Bobby Taylor in the starting line-up.
Bishops’ direct approach saw crosses into area requiring Curtis Coppen, on two occasions, to crucially clear with big striker Ian Ward looming to head home.
Priestly Griffiths also threatened an equaliser as his shot went millimetres past Kyle Hayes’ post in the 26th minute.
Though, just like against Shildon a week ago, Shields kept their shape to deny the hosts any clear cut chances.
And after soaking up the pressure for roughly a half hour spell, Carr’s header looked destined to hit the back of the net, but pressure from John Jury put him off.
McFarlane and Gary Ormston also had late efforts off target.
The beginning of the second half was no different to the first. Carr had another sniff but his first touch from Wilson’s pass allowed Thomas Dawson to save in the 48th minute.
Bishops were still struggling to break the Robins’ defence, and their lack of opportunities on Hayes’ goal was punished as the league leaders’ quality began to show.
A goal-saving block and an off the line clearance from Jury from inside the penalty area denied Michael McKeown and Coppen in the 61st and 65th minutes respectively.
But the heroics efforts from Jury were soon to be forgotten as the Robins found a second in the 66th minute through Carr. The lively unmarked forward latched on to McFarlane’s whipped cross to volley in.
And the Robins went on to see the game out comfortably, though Hayes did produce a brilliant save to keep out Andrew Johnson’s header in the 69th minute in the hosts’ best chance of the game.
In the final ten minutes, goal scorers Carr and Wilson were replaced by Gareth Bainbridge and Lee Mason.
Mason went close to finding a late third for the visitors, but a good save from Dawson stopped the shot from heading into the top corner in the 89th minute.