Robins unable to recover from three first half goals

Kieran Wrightson holds off a challenge in North Shields' match against Sunderland RCA. Picture by Ian Warde.
Kieran Wrightson holds off a challenge in North Shields' match against Sunderland RCA. Picture by Ian Warde.

In their penultimate league fixture the Shieldsmen were unable to make a dent in a three goal first half deficit.

Sunderland RCA were able to avenge two 3-0 defeats at the hands of North Shields earlier in the campaign.

But despite the setback, the Robins came look back on an incredible season after being promoted from the Second Division to challenge for league honours right to the wire as well as fit in the FA Vase run at the same time.

Shields end their League season at Celtic Nation on Tuesday when a final fourth or fifth placing will be confirmed – the Robins needing at least a point for the former.

Fenton’s men – the squad rotated as anticipated – never really recovered from conceding in only the second minute and were left chasing the game after going two down by yielding a spot kick and then Martin Swales’s RCA side grabbed another in the 33rd minute.

Centre forward Colin Larkin notched all three, the first after challenging Morton to a through ball, the second with a penalty following an Elliott foul then completing his hat trick with a fine near post header that flew into the net.

Shields offered little in the first half other than a surging run into the box by full back Marc Lancaster and a shot that just cleared the bar by Adam Forster.

The interval team talk could have had the desired effect as only moments into the resumption Bainbridge was thwarted by the keeper’s fingertips and the crossbar after a great run by Morris won the flag kick.

Holmes, with some inspiring sorties threatened some sort of revival but the game slowly petered out with no change to the scoreline.

North Shields: Morton, Elliott (Wrightson 46), Lancaster (Grey 55), Richardson, Coppen, Hughes, Morris, Forster, Bainbridge (Walker 68), Carr, Holmes. Subs (not used) Parker, Donnison.