Robins undone by first half treble

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Mark Fitzpatrick’s first-half hat-trick condemned North Shields to their second home defeat of the season.

Brian Smith’s men struggled to get anywhere near the energy Dunston brought to the first-half.

Chris Swailes’ men came with a clear game plan to counter attack the Robins, leaving top scorer Fitzpatrick to do all the rest as he provided a 25-minute treble.

And, it could have been more if it weren’t for Kyle Hayes.

It was a slightly improved second-half display as Gary Ormston headed Shields an early consolation.But the fight back failed to materialise as Shields were unable to recover.

Having not lost to Dunston in their last five meetings, a crowd of 353 would not have expected what was to lie ahead in the first period.

UTS set the tone for the first-half when after 27 seconds, Liam Thear hit over the bar via a slight deflection.

Dunston took the lead after 20 minutes. Pearson’s shot deflected up into the air as it fell beautifully for Fitzpatrick, who produced a marvellous finish into the roof of the net.

Fitzpatrick went close to a second but Hayes reached out to prevent the shot from heading into the bottom corner.

Shields just could not get going, and it was Fitzpatrick who punished the hosts again.

There was a hint of offside but the goal was awarded as Fitzpatrick toed the ball under Hayes on 38 minutes.

And there was time for Fitzpatrick to complete a first-half hat-trick as he ran through on goal before lobbing the ball over Hayes.

With a mountain to climb, Smith introduced Ryan Carr at the break in place of James Luccock.

And the first chance of the second-half fell to the substitute – heading over from Craig McFarlane’s cross.

But when the next ball flew into the box, it resulted in a goal as Ormston pulled one back, nine minutes in, when he headed in Mason free-kick cross.

With Shields having to push forward, their defence were having to remain switched on as Thear forced a strong save from Hayes.

In the 77th minute, it should have really been game, set and match for UTS as Jamie Martin scuffed a free shot at goal before Pearson curled over the bar.