Robins still lead by eight without a ball being kicked

North Shields maintained their eight-point gap at the top of the Ebac Northern League second division on Saturday without a ball being kicked.

All second division matches were washed out at the weekend ensuring the Robins still hold a healthy lead over West Allotment Celtic, who have played one more fixture.

Graham Fenton’s side have won their last 12 league games with an incredible goal ratio of 54 scored and just seven conceded.

With 102 strikes in 27 outings the Shieldsmen travel in good spirits, pitch conditions permitting, to a couple of testing encounters.

They were due to travel to North Yorkshire to take on Northallerton last night (Wednesday).

Then Seaham Red Star, in third position, nine points adrift of the Robins, having completed four more fixtures and managed by former Shields keeper Mark Collingwood, are next up on Saturday.

Kick-off at Seaham Town Park is 3pm.

Seaham are one of only two clubs to have beaten Shields in league meetings – 1-0 at the Daren Persson Stadium back in September. Chester-le-Street (2-1) at Chester Moor, are the other.

The Shieldsmen lost 1-0 at Seaham in the last campaign but two Keith Douglas headers secured the points in 2012.

Still firing on two cup fronts, Fenton and Andy Bowman head to Brandon’s Welfare ground on Wednesday, February 26, for a third round Northern League Cup tie (7.30pm).

The victors are then set to welcome either Whitehaven or Dunston.

Shields relished a good run in this competition in the 2011-12 season with Anthony Woodhouse at the helm, winning at Brandon (2-1), then a penalty shoot-out success over Darlington RA after sthe cores were tied 2-2, and an extra time victory (2-1) at Newcastle Benfield before bowing out at Bedlington.

Gareth Bainbridge, Dan Smart and Joe Elliott were the marksmen as the Robins overcame Darlington RA to reach the last four of the Ernest Armstrong Trophy.