Bainbridge scores five as Robins put ten past Whitehaven

A North Shields were in daunting form as they netted ten times to leave their crestfallen Cumbrian visitors Whithaven shell shocked in their midweek league meeting.

The calibre of football conjured up by the Shieldsmen was a joy to watch with the pace and movement superb and the finishing exquisite.

Gareth Bainbridge, scorer of 11 pre-season goals, weighed in with another five whilst striking partner Dan Smart bagged a brace, as did substitute Keith Douglas while Joe Elliott’s sublime finish completed the tally.

North Shields last scored ten in a Northern League fixture 48 years ago with a 10-2 verdict over Willington and the player goal-ratio was identical.

Then the prolific Don Winskill helped himself to five, both Ken Duffell and Stafford Newham struck twice with Brian O’Hara also on target.

The Robins also hit ten against Winterton Rangers in a Northern Counties League match in the 1991-2 season with David Woodcock notching a hat-trick and, during their Wearside League days, Stanley United, Thornaby, Whitburn and Simonside all conceded double figures to the Shieldsmen.

There was no indication of the rout that was to follow as Whitehaven looked lively early on and keeper Stuart Pettitt brilliantly blocked from Dan Smart only for the lurking Gareth Bainbridge to instinctively react but the loose ball flew just wide.

Once Smart rifled past Pettitt on ten minutes following impressive skills from Phil Robinson the floodgates opened and soon Bainbridge made it 2-0 after receiving from Smart.

Before the interval Bainbridge again struck then Smart latched onto a long clearance and, though, initially thwarted by the keeper, persisted and squeezed the ball home.

There was to be no let up in the tempo on the resumption and Elliott rounded off a flowing movement with aplomb.

Bainbridge completed his hat-trick from the spot, Douglas profited from a defensive blunder to put the Robins into seventh heaven before Bainbridge produced another clinical connection.

A sweet turn in the box and Douglas hammered high into the net for number nine with the icing on the cake in the closing seconds and, fittingly it was that man Bainbridge coolly tucking in his fifth and his side’s tenth.

North Shields: M Robinson, Elliott, Grey (Mbiavanga 70), Richardson, Parker, Hughes, P Robinson, Forster, Bainbridge, Smart (Douglas 62), Carr (Scope 46). Subs (not used): Donnison, Wrightson.