North Shields put four past Whitehaven

North Shields FC in their new training kit sponsored by Advanced Radiators, owned by former North Shields player Keith Riches.
North Shields FC in their new training kit sponsored by Advanced Radiators, owned by former North Shields player Keith Riches.

North Shields extended their lead at the top of the table with a four-goal romp on the west coast against Whitehaven.

And the win saw their goals tally reach a staggering 78 whilst at the same time keeping another clean sheet.

Graham Fenton’s lads sewed up their seventh successive league victory thanks to an Adam Scope brace inside as many minutes, Joe Elliott enlarged the advantage on the stroke of half-time with ace marksman Gareth Bainbridge chalking up his 32nd of the campaign in the second period.

Seven days earlier Shields’ rich vein of form had seen them delight their home fans with a 5-1 verdict over eighth top Darlington RA.

Four up at the interval thanks to a Scope strike, a Dean Holmes screamer and two from Bainbridge, one from the penalty spot, the Robins added to their tally on the turnaround through Holmes.

But the Railwaymen proved they are a decent outfit and grabbed a consolation with a James Muir spot kick with striker Aaron Ramsbottom still wondering just how he did not get on the scoresheet, thwarted on three occasions by breathtaking stops from Shields custodian Jon Ball.

Ball continued between the posts at Whitehaven but centre back John Parker and Brian Smith were absent, the versatile Joe Elliott slotting in alongside skipper Kevin Hughes in the heart of the defence.

Shields were ruthless from the off with Bainbridge going close before Dan Smart crossed from the left and Adam Forster saw his header blocked, but Scope unleashed a rasping drive that bulged the net.

The celebrations had barely died down before Bainbridge was denied by keeper Stuart Pettitt, but that man Scope coolly rifled in the loose ball with precision.

Pettitt tipped behind from Holmes and kept out Smart’s diving header then again got a touch to parry Bainbridge’s measured effort.

Ball was a virtual spectator but Pettitt was beaten again when Ben Richardson’s delivery was met by the head of Elliott and the Robins trooped off a delighted bunch.

Any slim hopes the Cumbrians, beaten 10-0 at the Daren Persson Stadium in August, had of salvaging something from the afternoon evaporated on the 68 minute mark as substitute Kieran Wrightson’s long ball released Bainbridge, who had the satisfaction of delicately clipping the ball over the advancing keeper, it was 4-0 and game, set and match.

North Shields: Ball, Donnison (Hook 75), Grey, Richardson, Elliott, Hughes, Scope, Forster, Bainbridge, Smart (Walker 65), Holmes (Wrightson 61). Subs not used: Goienetxea, Courtney.

After hosting Newcastle United Reserves in the Northumberland Senior Cup, North Shields head to Birtley Town on Saturday, 3pm kick-off.

Then on Wednesday, December 18, the Robins entertain Esh Winning in the Ernest Armstrong Trophy, 7.30pm.

The Robins have faced the Magpies on a number of occasions in the County Cup with strikes from player-manager Jim Pearson and Neil Howie securing famous single goal successes for Shields whilst current coach Andy Bowman is revered for his hat-trick against Newcastle in a challenge match.