Mechanics draw on their luck against North Shields
North Shields started their 2016-17 home fixtures with a 1-1 draw against a physical Washington outfit on Wednesday evening.
The first half passed off without much incident - Shields having the better of the opening quarter of an hour before Washington became stronger as the half wore on.
A poor tackle saw ex-South Shields man Ibby Hassan shown yellow for the visitors.
As the half drew to a close, Gareth Bainbridge found himself in prime position to shoot but could do little more than fire wide.
Then Denver Morris, who came into the Robins line-up for Jack Devlin, cracked a shot off the bar as the half drew to a close.
So 135 minutes into the season and there were still no goals at the Daren Persson Stadium.
The second half saw the game spring into life.
First home keeper Kyle Hayes was called into action with a good save, then in the 56th minute, some excellent hold up play saw Dan Wilson bring the ball down in the box, and despite the close attentions of two Mechanics defenders, he managed to fire the ball across goal for Ryan Carr to slide it in at the back post to make it 1-0.
However, the Robins’ lead only lasted a mere seven minutes as the Mechanics pushed forward in search of an equaliser.
And when the Robins failed to clear their lines, Marc Costello fired a strike past Hayes into the bottom corner to level the game at 1-1.
Bainbridge then had a chance with a header only to be pressured by the Washington defender.
Controversy reigned in the 74th minute when scorer Carr made a break down the inside left channel only to be stiff-armed by Hassan, yet no free kick was given. Had it been the Washington man would likely have been handed a second yellow.
A few minutes later Devlin went one-on-one with the keeper, but he made an excellent double save at the feet of the striker.
As time wore on the visitors’ time wasting increased, but as the game closed out, Washington keeper Dale Connor became the Robins’ nemesis.
First an excellent save from Robert Taylor’s well struck free kick, then he made possibly the save of the season as Devlin got his head to a whipped cross which looked destined for the net before Connor put his hand out to tip it over the bar. Cue frustration on the terraces.
So it was honours even as the Robins could not make that final breakthrough and a draw was probably a fair result, despite some excellent chances in the dying moments of the game as it finished 1-1.
North Shields: Hayes, Donnison, Lancaster, Coppen, Parker, Hughes, Morris (Taylor 60), Ormston, Bainbridge, Wilson (Devlin 67), Carr (Summerly 81).