Robins win keeps pressure on top three

North Shields' Kieran Wrightson gets in a tackle against Consett. Picture by Ian Warde.
North Shields' Kieran Wrightson gets in a tackle against Consett. Picture by Ian Warde.

After six consecutive matches on the road, North Shields were warmly welcomed back on home soil.

And they duly responded with a resounding 3-0 verdict over a Consett side beaten only once previously.

The Daren Persson Stadium faithful have been breathless since the last action seen on the park – that 4-4 FA Cup classic with Scarborough – and this latest action certainly did not disappoint.

More lethal finishing saw the league’s ace marksman Gareth Bainbridge rewarded with another brace with Denver Morris on target for the opener.

Consett were visiting Shields for the first time since both clubs were last members of the Northern League First Division back in 1988, the Robins winning that day by 2-0 with the prolific duo of Don Peattie and Paul Pitman on the scoresheet.

The Steelmen have run out victors when the sides met up subsequently in a Second Division opener by 3-1 in 2005 and 4-1 in the FA Vase the following season.

Denver Morris has been a revelation since signing for the Robins from Newton Aycliffe and his superb header from a pin-point James Luccock cross in the 14th minute set the Shieldsmen on their way.

Boss Graham Fenton had to reckon without his midfield maestros of Adam Forster (injured) and Ben Richardson (suspended) whilst centre half John Parker failed a late fitness test so Joe Elliott came in at the heart of defence.

Following the celebrations as Morris struck, Bainbridge was only inches off target as Shields sensed a quick second.

Dean Holmes whistled one past the post but the Robins had still to be resolute at the back as Consett sought a leveller and Chris Bannon, making his home debut, had to be alert to tip behind from visiting skipper Dan Madden.

On the turnaround Aristote Guerin-Lokonga drove past the post when well placed as the visitors probed without creating much clear-cut.

On the 64 minute mark it was 2-0 with Morris once more setting off on a surging run and a special delivery at the end of it picked out Bainbridge who made no mistake.

The Robins were comfortable now, there was to be no way back for the visitors though Bannon did well to keep out a Madden header, and it was more smiles when a minute from the end Dean Walker released Bainbridge to coolly slot past keeper Chris Elliott for his 10th of the campaign so far – and the Robins remain up there challenging in the top four.

North Shields: Bannon, Donnison, Turner (Hook 69), Coppen (Livermore 30), Elliott, Hughes, Luccock, Wrightson, Bainbridge, Morris (Walker 78), Holmes. Subs (not used) Smith, Smart.

Shields have already triumphed at Guisborough, Bedlington and Bishop Auckland and midweek were hoping to add Marske to that impressive list of conquests.

It was not to be as they narrowly went down 3-2 despite carving out early openings.

A Craig Gott free kick and a Jamie Owens drive had the North Yorkshire hosts two up midway through the first period.

Bainbridge was narrowly wide with a header from a precision Holmes centre but the Robins number nine did pull one back on 50 minutes.

Owens though dinked one over the keeper in a home break and with Shields having loud shouts for spot kicks when Walker’s goalbound effort was handled and when Holmes was felled in the area, their only reward was through Parker who bundled in a corned in stoppage time.

Shields are in FA Vase action on Saturday when they visit Stokesley 3pm.

Any replay would be on the following Wednesday – otherwise the Robins are scheduled to play at Morpeth’s Craik Park in a Northumberland Senior Cup tie (7.30pm).