NORTH Shields FC were effectively out of the national FA Vase competition after just 39 minutes as they trailed by three goals against Northallerton.
Anthony Woodhouse made two changes to the starting 11 from that which won 1-0 at Crook three days earlier with Robbie Livermore replacing Ryan Page in the middle of the park and, with Mathew Crook recalled by Blyth, 17-year-old Hayden Scott took over between the posts.
The manager had little to say after 90 turgid minutes for the Tynesiders: “That was poor, I am so disappointed and now active in the transfer market.”
It was a tough baptism for Scott who was beaten three times, by a Peter Bulmer strike only five minutes in, a Carl Chillingsworth header on 26 minutes then Gary Mitchell converted following a ball over the top.
Keith Douglas grabbed a consolation with less than four minutes remaining with a glorious chip after rounding the keeper and he has now notched five of the Robins’ seven strikes this campaign.
None of the Shields players can be happy after this abject display with the best performer once again Joe Elliott, who was only on the field for the last 28 minutes.
The contrast in the Shieldsmen’s fortunes home and away is alarming.
On opposition soil they remain unbeaten this season in four outings, having lost only one league match in the whole of the last campaign.
It is a different story at the Daren Persson Stadium with the Robins having lost all four since August and four of their final seven at the end of last season which cost promotion.
North Shields: Scott, Luccock (S Wright 46 mins), Grey, Arnot, Hughes, Salter, Patterson, Cartwright, Livermore (Elliott 62 mins), Douglas, Hay (Page 57 mins). Subs not used: Hall, Bowlt.
On Saturday North Shields make the short journey to Coach Lane to take on Team Northumbria (3pm).
Then Esh Winning are the visitors to Ralph Gardner Park on Wednesday, September 21, (7.30pm).
Their last visit in 2009 ended in a 2-2 draw with Stuart Heppell notching both home goals.
n In midweek Shields chalked up their first victory of the campaign at Millfield with a 1-0 win over Crook.
A Keith Douglas header 12 minutes from time from a James Luccock centre secured three precious points for the Shieldsmen.
The game saw starts for defender Stephen Salter, signed from Esh Winning, Ryan Arnot and Ryan Page whilst the aptly named Mathew Crook, signed from Blyth Spartans, donned the keeper’s gloves and went on to earn man of the match ratings.
The hosts applied early pressure but Shields certainly were not out of it in the first period but the closest they came was an Andy Hay curler that had keeper Marc Riches beaten but just cleared the upright.
The Robins were without recognised midfield trio Paul Watson, Mark Rasmussen and Robbie Livermore.
Shields were celebrating as skipper Douglas put them ahead and Phil Cartwright must have thought he had added number two but his blistering effort was held by Riches.
Crook staged a fighting climax and just how the Robins survived a succession of stoppage time goalmouth melees only they will know.
The side’s battling qualities shone through, however, and with the Shields keeper breaking Crook hearts.
Boss Anthony Woodhouse declared afterwards: “Crook missed some great chances in the first half but I thought we battered them in the second.
“We dug in well, and credit to the lads, they got the winner.”
North Shields: Crook, Hall (Grey 57), Patterson, Arnot, Hughes, Salter, Page (Elliott 66), Cartwright, Hay (Deighton 76), Douglas, Luccock. Subs (not used): Atkinson, S Wright.