Mason and Bainbridge goals keep North Shields on top
North Shields retained their five-point lead at the top of the Northern League with a 2-0 win over Penrith.
Second half goals from Lee Mason and Gareth Bainbridge was enough to overcome the Cumbrians at a breezy Daren Persson Stadium in the midweek meeting.
After second placed South Shields had closed the gap to two points with a 5-1 home win over West Allotment on Tuesday evening, the Robins did what they had to against mid-table Penrith as they also maintained their unbeaten start to the league season.
The kick-off was delayed as Penrith arrived late due to traffic problems, and the game finally got under way at 8pm.
Despite their difficult journey, the visitors started the better and kept possession well, while too many North Shields passes went astray on the dry surface.
The Robins had an early let off when Penrith’s Aaron Kelly hit the bar from only three yards out when it looked easier to score.
Chances were few and far between in the opening 45 minutes as neither side were able to break the deadlock.
The impressive crowd of 324 on a cold Wednesday night saw North Shields finally get their game together and open the scoring in the 51st minute as Mason scored after a good ball from Dean Holmes created the opening.
Shields looked to up their game and brought Bobby Taylor on for Curtis Coppen just past the hour in a bid to add more pace up front.
But it took a superb save from home keeper Sean McCafferty to keep his side in front. The shot-stopper kept out Penrith captain Grant Davidson’s powerful header.
McCafferty was in the action again with another fine save to block Coleman’s low shot.
Ryan Carr was then brought into action to replace goalscorer Mason on the 69th minute.
Shields doubled their advantage soon after as Gareth Bainbridge scored his first goal of the season after a cross from Taylor on the right put the ball on a plate for Bainbridge to poke it home.
But it took another fine McCafferty save, this time to block a point blank effort from Connelly, to maintan the advantage.
Next up its Ryhope at home on Saturday for the second time this week, kick-off 3pm, before Guisborough Town are the visitors on Wednesday, October 12, kick-off 7.45pm.
North Shields: McCafferty, Brooking (Glen-Ravenhill), Lancaster, Coppen (Taylor) Parker, Hughes, Forster, Ormston, Bainbridge, Mason (Carr), Holmes. Subs not used: Devlin, McGorrigan.