North Shields made light of Wednesday night’s torrid weather by scoring three goals in eight second half minutes en route to a 5-0 victory over Jarrow Roofing.
Shields manager Graham Fenton made three changes to side which bravely saw off West Auckland on Saturday with Michael McKeown and Daniel Wilson rested in favour of Ryan McGorrigan and Gareth Bainbridge, while Peter Glen-Ravenhill reclaimed his berth on the right wing in James Luccock’s absence.
Conditions at the Daren Persson Stadium were far from ideal, increasingly heavy rain battering the pitch and the players throughout the first half.
The Robins shrugged off the torrential rain and biting cold to threaten in the early stages. Gary Ormston setting the tone with a direct run and shot that was deflected behind.
By contrast, the Roofers started with trepidation, affording the hosts’ danger-men too much time and space.
It would cost them dearly on the 12th minute as two defenders failed to prevent McGorrigan from skipping down the right and delivering a low ball from the byline. Michael Latimer’s missed interception allowed Bainbridge – back in stellar form – to steal in and open the scoring from close range.
Roofing centre half Latimer fared better three minutes later, sliding in to stop Dean Holmes from registering a shot on target, before Shields’ Jack Donnison prevented Shaun Vipond from doing the same for the visitors.
Only the slippery playing surface kept Shields from finding their team-mates in the final third, that additional zip often taking the ball through to alert Roofing keeper Daniel Regan.
Shields were comfortably in the ascendancy, spraying passes through the midfield at will, but they could have been pegged back by Roofing as half-time approached.
In a rare breach of the back four, Jamie Marshall slipped in Michael Mackay, but the prolific striker – snapped up from Consett last month – could not beat Chris Bannon, the Shields stopper racing out to make the crucial save.
The rain stopped before play recommenced, and the goals poured freely thereafter, with the 167 supporters in attendance rewarded with a deluge of fine strikes.
Five minutes into the second half Bainbridge was again on point as Holmes played the diagonal ball, timing his run to perfection to beat the offside trap before coolly placing the ball low across the keeper.
At the other end, Vipond had a penalty appeal waved away, the midfielder claiming that his goalbound shot was blocked by the hand of Donnison.
Within a minute of those claims, Shields were three goals to the good.
A well worked move, kick-started by Holmes and kept alive by Bainbridge, saw the ball reach the feet of McGorrigan. The attacker showed his class when rolling another ex-Newcastle United trainee in Liam Atkin and putting the resulting square ball on a plate for Glen-Ravenhill to smash home towards the back post.
Confidence was flowing through the side, and the McGorrigan-Glen-Ravenhill axis cut a swathe through the Roofers once more just before the hour.
The former sliced open the defence with a sweeping ball into the path of the latter, Glen-Ravenhill, speeding away from his marker to finish emphatically into the bottom corner.
With five goals in six starts, the Bainbridge of old was back, and the 30-year-old almost bagged his first hat-trick of the season when he seized on a loose Atkin back-pass, only the outstretched boot of Regan sparing the South Tyneside outfit further embarrassment.
The goalkeeper denied Bainbridge once more in the 78th minute, doing well to divert a close-range effort past the near post, while Ormston saw a header well held minutes later.
North Shields completed the rain-soaked rout five minutes from time. Wilson, on in place of two-goal hero Bainbridge, could not beat Regan from a narrowing angle, but fellow substitute Ryan Carr would do just that within moments.
Marc Lancaster recovered possession on the left and whipped a delivery into the six-yard box, where Carr provided a fine mid-air finish to seal the victory in style.
A watertight rearguard action helped a rejuvenated Shields close out the game with minimal fuss, helping to extend their winning streak to three games.
The Robins will look to maintain that rich vein of form when they make the short hop over the Tyne on Saturday, with Dunston UTS the hosts.
North Shields: Bannon, Donnison, Lancaster, Ormston, Coppen, Hughes, Glen-Ravenhill, Richardson, Bainbridge (Carr), McGorrigan (Wilson), Holmes (Summerly).
Jarrow Roofing: Regan, M Latimer, White, Allan, Atkin, Vipond, Marshall (Hamilton), Hedley, Mackay, Chow, Rundle.