Ormston heads deserved late equaliser for North Shields at Shildon

North Shields' Gary Ormston. Picture by Craig McVay
North Shields' Gary Ormston. Picture by Craig McVay

North Shields twice came from behind to earn a late point at early title challengers Shildon.

Gary Ormston headed home a late equaliser to earn a deserved point for the Robins in Wednesday evening’s Northern League fixture.

Shields had failed to capitalise on their first-half domination and Michael Rae put the home side in front just three minutes after coming on at half-time.

James Luccock equalised 20 minutes later but the visitors were level for barely five minutes as Adam Burnicle regained Shildon’s lead.

But Ormston ensured Shields would not head back to the Daren Persson Stadium empty handed.

Following Saturday’s surprise defeat to Ryhope CW, Robins boss Brian Smith made two changes to his starting 11. Craig McFarlane slotted into right back with Jack Donnison unavailable while Luccock replaced Joe Robson on the right wing.

The Robins started the game with an obvious point to prove and dominated the first-half possession. And with it come chances.

Lee Mason capitalised on a defensive error but lacked the pace to beat the recovering man and get a clear shot away.

The best chance of the half fell to Dan Wilson on 18 minutes when he cleverly turned Daniel Moore, but with the goal gapping he failed to hit the target.

The only criticism Smith might have had on the first period was that his side lacked the final pass. Adam Forster and Paul Robinson in particular both had storming runs that lacked the killer ball.

It had taken 36 minutes to register their first real threatening chance when Moore directed a corner on target but Forster cleared off the line.

At the break, it was certainly Shields feeling the happier of the two sides.

But Smith was left furious on the touchline just three minutes after the restart as the hosts took the lead.

All the hard work in the first period was undone as a cross from Billy Greulich-Smith found its way to substitute Rae, who controlled and volleyed home.

The hosts then went on to threaten a second with Burnicle agonisingly shooting inches wide, before minutes later, a free header from a corner was wasted.

Smith introduced Dean Holmes for Robinson and it brought an instant response.

On the 67th minute, Mason delivered a free kick into the area as Moore’s clearance fell into the path of Luccock, who diverted the ball into an empty net.

But Shields fell behind again less than five minutes later as Burnicle cut inside onto to his right foot and fired the ball past Kyle Hayes.

The visitors went close to finding an instant response but Nick Liversedge showed his acrobatics to stop Mason.

Shildon then looked to kill the game off and only an excellent save from Hayes denied Greulich-Smith’s effort from flying into the top corner.

But the brilliant Shields had one last push left in them as Ormston left it late -emphatically heading home from Mason’s fantastic cross to take a well-battled point back to NE29.

North Shields: Hayes, McFarlane, Summerly, Forster, Parker, Hughes, Luccock, Ormston, Wilson (Kerridge), Mason, Robinson (Holmes).

Attendance: 202.

On Saturday North Shields entertain Bishop Auckland, kick-off 3pm, before facing a trip to Washington on Wednesday, August 23, kick-off 7.45pm.