North Shields Athletic started their Northern Alliance season off with a crushing 8-2 win over Whickham Social Club.
With a strong wind at their backs Athletic were struggling to adjust their game to cope with the conditions, and in an evenly fought game both sides went close.
Both goalkeepers pulled off good saves with Sean Korsbo in the Athletic goal dealing well with whatever was being thrown at him.
Athletic finally used the wind to their advantage when a Thomas Gibson throw found Craig Boyle in the box and he opened the scoring.
Scott Jasper made it two when Anthony Errington floated a corner into the box and he rose to head the ball into the goal.
In the 35th minute Whickham were reduced to ten men when a striker was given a straight red card after an incident on Athletic defender Dean Bolam.
Shortly afterwards Whickham pulled one back to make it 2-1 at half-time.
The second half started with Whickham using the wind to their advantage and in the 55th minute they made it 2-2.
This woke Athletic up and they started knocking the ball about, and their lead was restored when Craig Boyle placed the ball out of the reach of the Whickham keeper.
Athletic got a fourth when Ryan Bailey scored with a shot that gave the keeper no chance.
Dan Capewell made it five when he out-jumped everyone at a corner.
Jasper, Athletic’s leading scorer for the last two seasons, scored the sixth and seventh to complete his hat-trick.
Number eight came from Boyle, also giving him a hat-trick.
A good performance from Steve Ardley saw his passes set up about four of the goals.
North Shields Athletic: Korsbo, Bolam, Gibson, Errington, Capewell, Ardley, Boyle, Crammond, Wyres, Bailey, Jasper. Subs: Molley, Cowx, Evans, Keith.