Hotshot Bainbridge looking to end the season on a high

Gareth Bainbridge opens the scoring in the FA Vase Semi Final Second Leg against Highworth Town.
Gareth Bainbridge opens the scoring in the FA Vase Semi Final Second Leg against Highworth Town.

For Wembley-bound Gareth Bainbridge it is proving a truly momentous season.

The North Shields ultra prolific striker, who has made the No.9 shirt his own proudly following in the boots of legendary forwards such as Don Winskill and Brian Joicey, is simply sublime in his finishing.

Not only was he top scorer in both divisions of the Northern League in the last campaign he was also proudly crowned the Northern League Player of the Year.

That was the icing on the cake of a memorable season for North Shields as Bainbridge played no small part as the Robins romped to the Second Division Championship and promotion.

Awesome finishing saw him rack up 55 goals, 47 in league games which included a nap hand, seven hat tricks and 11 braces.

Gareth had jumped at the chance to join Graham Fenton at Shields at the start of 2013/4 following five years at Ashington where he topped the scoring charts and is famed for scoring the last ever goal at the club’s old Portland Park ground and the first at their new Woodhorn Lane venue.

It has certainly proved to be the Colliers loss and the Robins gain with Gareth quick to sing the praises of boss Graham Fenton and his backroom staff and also his team mates for setting him up to bury the chances.

This term he has netted 16 times in the magical Vase run despite missing some games through injury.

He reached his 100th Shields goal against Bedlington Terriers on April 15 before going on to complete a hat trick – his 12th for the club – in just 89 appearances.

This season he has slotted in three against Newcastle Benfield, Sunderland RCA, Whitley Bay and Bedlington plus another when coming on as a second half substitute at Billingham Synthonia.

His 37 tally also includes a ‘four’ at Stokesley in the Vase and nine braces.

Now he cannot wait to step out on to the Wembley turf.