If you ever wanted to define the statement ‘coming back to haunt your old club’ then North Shields’ win at Dunston UTS on Saturday would help you do that.
The Robins left the UTS Stadium with three points and three goals as a trio of ex-Dunston players in Dan Wilson, Gary Ormston and Denver Morris found themselves on the score-sheet.
It was a professional display from the Northern League leaders as they took their chances in the first period – notching an early second-half goal before they resisted some solid Dunston pressure to earn a clean sheet.
The game was contested in difficult conditions. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining match as both sets of supporters were on hand to praise each other.
With South Shields breathing down the Robins’ necks after their Friday night win at Seaham Red Star, Jon McDonald’s men showed quickly that they would remain calm and stick to what they have executed well so far this season.
A brilliantly worked passing move involving Curtis Coppen, Wilson and Morris in the opening stages set the first-half tone for the visitors.
An early goal settled the nerves – if there were any – and the Robins did just that on 15 minutes. A neat flick from Lee Mason in the build-up to the goal allowed Wilson to fire the ball past Stefan Holden from just inside the D.
And just like their last league outing against Seaham, Shields quickly gave themselves breathing space as nine minutes later Ormston punished UTS with a strike into the bottom corner when they failed to clear Adam Forster’s ball into the area.
Dunston did end the half with some half chances in front of Kyle Hayes’ goal with Chris Youlden and Ritchie Slaughter both forcing the Shields number one into awkward saves.
With the hosts no doubt wanting to build on the pressure they applied late in the first period, a third goal for Shields would really deliver a knockout blow to Dunston.
Morris, who caused all sorts of problems down the right-hand side, angled a long pass in behind the UTS defence as Mason was found on the end out it, though the striker disappointedly slid the ball wide of the post.
But Shields only needed one more opportunity to earn their three-goal lead as Morris applied the finish on 54 minutes. Dunston again failed to clear their lines – Mason’s delivery from a corner was watched well by the winger, who finished on the half-volley.
The game was rightly in Shields’ own destiny. Robins boss McDonald used all three of his substitutes early on with Jordan Summerly and Craig McFarlane, in particular, given a chance to impress.
Ryan Carr, who also joined the action from the bench, was on the end of a Morris cross, but Holden made himself big to stop it becoming 4-0 to the away side.
Dunston then begun to push on the Shields backline, which was kick-started by a looping effort from Harvey Saunders as the returning Hayes did well to get a touch to divert the ball away from goal.
Though the one time that Hayes was nearly caught was when Ryan Drane cut inside to see his attempt just sneak wide of the post. Slaughter also had an opportunity that he hit over the bar.
The last noticeable opening of the game fell to man-of-the-match Forster when he made a surging run into the 18-yard box – unluckily he hit the post.
Highlights of the game at Dunston UTS can be viewed at NSFCTV – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur-d1TTzQds
After Wednesday night’s home game against Ashington, North Shields are not in action again until their Boxing Day fixture at Newcastle Benfield, kick-off 11am.