NORTH Shields assistant boss Andy Bowman duly celebrated notching his side’s winner in the Gary Hull Memorial Trophy on Saturday.
And after the game he relected on the Robins’ warm-up programme and look forward to the forthcoming season.
He said: “There’s no doubt it has been difficult in the friendlies, not having our full team out at anytime.
“We’ve played some good stuff in patches but have not created enough chances.
“Graham Fenton [manager]and I are looking to bring in another three players to bolster the squad, and at the moment we’ve got a number of the lads nursing injuries.
“We’ve got five new acquisitions so far, it’s great to have Joe Elliott and Jon Hall back in the fold while the other lads – Ben Richardson (Brandon) and John Hook (Monkseaton Academy) have settled in well.
“Andy Hay is unbelievable for our first match whilst Dean Holmes is also likely to miss out, but James Harmison is likely to feature if his ankle is ok.”
That first match is against Birtley in the FA Cup extra preliminary round on Saturday at the Daren Persson Stadium, kick-off 3pm.
As the last four meetings between the sides have all ended in draws, there is every possibility that the tie could go to a replay and, if so, it would take place at the Birtley Sports Complex on Tuesday, kick-off 7.30pm.
The Ebac Northern League season kicks-off on Saturday, August 18, with Fenton’s team travelling to Boldonto take on Jarrow Roofing.
Other early games are: Morpeth Town (home), on Wednesday, August 22, and newly-promoted Ryhope CW (away), on Saturday, August 25, before the Robins visit Liversedge in an FA Vase tie on Saturday, September 1.
Against Ashington in midweek, Shields custodian Michael Robinson saved a Phill Bell penalty early on, but the Colliers led at the break through an Andy Johnson strike.
Another soft spot kick award gave Ashington the opportunity to increase their advantage, and this time Phil Cave took responsibility and converted.
Femi Akinbolu’s glancing header from a Danny Patterson cross saw Shields right back in it, but four minutes from the final whistle Johnson was again on target for the visitors.
On Saturday at Purvis Park, North Shields won the Gary Hull Memorial Trophy for the sixth time against Percy Main.
With penalties looming, an evenly contested affair was settled in the 88th minute when, following a great ru by Patterson, Bowman took a touch before rifling into the top corner.
North Shields were represented at Percy Main by: Michael Robinson, John Hook, Danny Patterson, Paul Watson, Jon Hall, Femi Akinbolu, Michael Watson, Ben Richardson, Adam Rowntree, Keith Douglas, Phil Robinson. Subs: James Harmison, Adam Forster, Dean Holmes, Elvis Ewruje, Andy Bowman.
On Saturday, following the Birtley game, North Shields are staging a race night in the lounge at Chirton Social Club.
All supporters are invited to attend with the event starting at 7.30pm.