Parker strikes in injury time to win dramatic Shields derby

North Shields players celebrate after Gareth Bainbridge's goal. Picture by Ian Warde.
North Shields players celebrate after Gareth Bainbridge's goal. Picture by Ian Warde.

What a time for North Shields centre half John Parker to score his first goal for the club.

His last gasp winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time sparked dramatic scenes at the Daren Persson Stadium after a fantastic derby clash against South Shields.

A bumper crowd of 367 were enthralled as fortunes ebbed and flowed with Graham Fenton’s Robins going top of the table after clocking up their fourth successive league win.

The Mariners crossed the Tyne on Saturday, unbeaten in eight games to face the Robins, the division’s top scorers who also boast the meanest defence.

Injuries to Michael Robinson and Tom Courtney saw Jon Ball, transferred from Whitley Bay, donning the North Shields gloves.

North Shields took an early lead with Gareth Bainbridge coolly slotting the ball past Jak Wells as the clock barely ticked to the four-minute mark.

Controversy erupted as the Mariners levelled within three minutes when they were warded a disputed corner kick, from which they benefitted from a soft penalty kick, converted by Stephen Ramsey.

North Shields clearly felt hard done by and fell behind when Adam Burnicle fired the visitors ahead on 13 minutes.

The Robins were desperately unlucky not to equalise when Bainbridge’s header was somehow touched onto the bar by Wells at point blank range, the ball bouncing on the line before being frantically scrambled.

Seconds before the break, though, it was all square as Dean Holmes was blatantly brought down by Wells as he was about to round the keeper and up stepped Bainbridge to despatch the resultant penalty.

Wells was rightly red-carded, the officials having little option yet this did not stop the visitors disputing the decision.

It took the Mariners an age to emerge from the changing rooms for the resumption and their second stand-in keeper was beaten on 58 minutes, punished by skipper Kevin Hughes after spilling John Grey’s free kick.

Dan Smart was forced to limp off after one of several challenges from South Shields’ Ben Riding.

But, to their credit, the visitors, despite fielding four different custodians, performed valiantly with their numerical disadvantage.

Dan Hindmarsh, who made a couple of appearances for the Robins earlier in the campaign, rifled in on 84 minutes to make it 3-3 and the Mariners were dreaming of the point they were on course to take back over the Tyne.

Not so, though, despite Ramsey superbly blocking from Bainbridge, he was to be left devastated, picking the ball out of the back of the net as Parker chested down a Grey corner kick before jubilantly blasting the ball home.

The Mariners were crest fallen, barely having time to kick-off again before the final whistle blew, the Robins meanwhile were ecstatic.

North Shields: Ball, Donnison, Grey, Richardson, Parker, Hughes, Holmes, Forster, Bainbridge, Smart (Scope 49), Wrightson. Subs not used: Elliott, Mbiavanga.

Esh Winning had travelled to Tyneside in midweek to face the mighty Robins who soared to a 5-0 success.

Dan Smart converted a Dean Holmes cross to open the scoring, Gareth Bainbridge lobbed the keeper for the second then before half-time Smart rounded the Esh custodian to enhance the Shields advantage.

Esh didn’t concede again until seven minutes from time when Holmes and Bainbridge combined, the former slotting home, then, with the final whistle looming, Bainbridge produced a bullet header from a Ben Richardson corner to complete the nap hand.

North Shields travel to Esh Winning on Saturday (3pm), the sides meeting for the third time in ten days before Fenton’s lads head north to take on Alnwick Town in the Northern League Cup on Tuesday, November 26 at 7.30pm.