North Shields cruise into League Cup semi-final with win over Bedlington Terriers
North Shields will face Guisborough Town in the last four of the Northern League Cup having swept past Bedlington Terriers 4-1 at the Dr Pit Welfare Park on Wednesday night.
Graham Fenton sought a response from his side after their disappointing 2-0 derby defeat at Whitley Bay on Bank Holiday Monday, and his charges delivered just that.
A dominant performance takes the Robins another step closer to silverware.
The relegation-threatened Terriers found little respite away from the league as the visitors snatched the lead within the opening five minutes.
Shepherding the ball towards the byline, Bedlington centre half Paul Stoneman was out-muscled by Dan Wilson, who moved into range and curled home from an acute angle.
Buoyed by the early goal, North Shields seized control of the tie, Gary Ormston’s looping header skimming the crossbar and Michael McKeown denied when through on goal by a fine Ryan Beal stop.
The latter was pulling the strings for Shields in the heart of midfield, and he sent over the telling delivery for the second goal when his free kick was powered into the net by the head of Curtis Coppen on 25 minutes.
The same combination almost resulted in a third as the interval approached. Another McKeown set piece nodded towards goal by the centre half, but Beal was equal to it on this occasion.
McKeown himself poked over from the edge of the area, and midfield colleague Ben Richardson stung the palms of the keeper with a fierce drive from 20 yards, but Shields could not add to their two-goal lead before half-time.
Shields started the second half as strongly as the first. Wilson was one touch away from retrieving a Jordan Summerly pass into the box.
For their part, the hosts had offered very little danger in their opponents’ third, Sean McCafferty little more than a spectator at his old stamping ground.
However, the goalkeeper’s first meaningful action of the game would be to pick the ball out of the back of the net in the 56th minute, Bedlington halving arrears against the run of play.
An Andy Ferrell corner was met by Marc Dummett ten yards out, and though McCafferty got firm hands to the header, the bobbling ball crept over the line via the unfortunate Wilson.
The own goal and an injury to McKeown on the hour momentarily disrupted the Robins’ flow, but the away side restored their two-goal cushion on 65 minutes.
Peter Glen-Ravenhill started and finished the move, retaining possession out wide before feeding the ball into the feet of substitute Ryan McGorrigan. The former Terrier surged past two red shirts before squaring for Glen-Ravenhill, whose man-of-the-match performance was rewarded with a goal.
Within three minutes North Shields had all but sealed progression to the semis. Ben Richardson’s flat corner was drilled home first-time by Gary Ormston, who ghosted in front of his marker to rifle low beyond Beal.
It could have been more for the rampant visitors. A Lee Mason shot was spilled by the keeper and McGorrigan controversially denied by Keelan Nellis, though the ball seemed to cross the line as the defender struggled to clear the danger.
Nevertheless, it was a substantial and fully deserved win for the Robins, who put Monday’s disappointment behind them with a confident display in Northumberland.
Guisborough joined them in the final four with an extra-time victory over Shildon, the North Yorkshire outfit travelling to the Daren Persson Stadium for the semi-final clash.
Should they overcome the Priorymen, Shields will then face either Marske United or Whitley Bay in the final.
Bedlington Terriers: Beal, Pendlebury, Ferrell, Allen, Stoneman, Dummett, Stephenson, King (Summerville), Walton (Nellis), Brown, Baxter.
North Shields: McCafferty, Donnison, Summerly (Brooking), McKeown (McGorrigan), Coppen, Hughes, Glen-Ravenhill, Ormston, Wilson (Bainbridge), Richardson, Mason.