Holmes brace helps Robins get back to winning ways

A superb brace from Dean Holmes saw an unchanged North Shields side return to winning ways at Boldon on Tuesday.

The Shieldsmen were still depleted but gelled brilliantly to win 2-0 and record their fifth victory in eight league outings.

Holmes now boasts six goals to his name in all competitions so far this campaign, level with the currently sidelined Gareth Bainbridge.

Shields had won 2-1 on their last visit to South Tyneside, but this success was achieved in slightly more comfortable fashion.

The Robins had competed well in their previous two testing games at Shildon and West Auckland with no end reward but this time they turned it on for the full 90 minutes with admirable effort and commitment.

Both sides probed for an early advantage but defences looked solid and openings were at a premium.

The breakthrough came on 38 minutes when a Kieran Wrightson effort was blocked, falling into the path of Holmes who steadied himself before coolly firing past Andrew Hunter.

Ben Richardson was agonisingly close to extending that advantage with a drive that flashed past the upright.

The Shieldsmen continued to look sprightly on the turnaround with centre backs John Parker and Kevin Hughes both seeing goalbound headers blocked and Curtis Coppen having an effort hacked off the line.

On 61 minutes came the clincher as Holmes cleverly curled the ball home from a tight angle to send the visiting support into raptures.

Denver Morris slotted past the keeper with 81 minutes on the clock but a worthy third strike was chalked off by a late offside flag.

With young David Morton keeping a clean sheet the Robins trooped off in fine spirits.

North Shields:- Morton, Donnison, Grey, Coppen, Parker, Hughes, Luccock, Richardson, Morris, Wrightson, Holmes (Walker 82). Subs (not used): Turner, Livermore, Forster, Bainbridge.