North Shields 2-0 Sunderland RCA
Four 2-0 wins on the bounce have seen the chirpy Robins rise to third place in the league table.
This latest success was far more comfortable than the scoreline suggests with RCA offering so little threat up front.
Encounters between the two sides over the years have usually been feisty and close to call but ex Shieldsman Martin Swales’ Sunderland side just weren’t at the races this time round.
Shields played some flowing football throughout with only the final pass sometimes lacking.
In front of a crowd of 284 another Gareth Bainbridge spot kick and Gary Ormston’s second half clincher ensured the points whilst both Bainbridge and James Luccock were only thwarted by the woodwork.
An early sortie from the visitors saw Jordan Summerly get in a great saving header but the opening exchanges were cagey as both sides weighed each other up.
The impressive Summerly came in for a couple of nasty challenges from the Wearsiders but kept going with some surging runs to support his forwards whilst Lee Mason got to the byeline with his unviting cross just begging for a touch.
Shields were so unlucky on 32 minutes when Bainbridge’s effort cannoned off the crossbar with Dean Holmes’ follow-up frantically deflected behind.
On the 37 minute mark Holmes danced through the RCA rearguard before being dragged down in the box abd up stepped Bainbridge to deliver from the spot for the second successive match for his sixth goal in as many games.
The Robins notched number two on 51 minutes through an incisive move, resulting in Holmes crossing from the left,ex Shildon keeper Keith Finch unable to gather cleanly enabling Ormston to blast home in the resultant melee.
Luccock was revelling as Brian Smith’s lads sought to increase their tally with Mason’s low shot held,Bainbridge just wide at the far post and Luccock starting and ending a move that deserved a goal only kept out by the woodwork
The visitors only worthwhile chances came in the final 10 minutes but captain Ross Preston blazed over then Michael Charlton poked wide with the goal gaping.