A COMPREHENSIVE 3-0 midweek win at the Darren Person stadium at Ralph Gardener Park against Esh Winning was much needed for North Shields FC.
Making his debut for the Shieldsmen was James Harmison, who joined former Ashington team-mate Paul Dunn in Robins’ colours.
Harmison comes with a good pedigree and a link to North Shields as his dad, Jim, was a hugely popular player in two spells with the Robins.
The highlight of his father’s time with the club was undoubtedly being a member of the Shields side that triumphed 1-0 at Halifax in an FA Cup tie in 1982.
Both Jim and James’ older brother Steve, the England and Durham cricket fast bowler, were spectators as the Robins rattled in three goals against a side relegated from the first division in the previous campaign.
Ryan Page’s blistering strike gave the hosts a dream start before the lead was extended when Lee Mason was upended in the box and Keith Douglas calmly converted from the penalty spot.
Esh Winning’s reliance on their striker Ian Ward proved their downfall as fortunately for the Tynesiders, on this occasion, he had left his shooting boots at home.
Shields sewed up the points midway through the second period when Esh keeper Jake Johnson lost control of the ball allowing Holmes to pounce.
The visitors’ woes were compounded as Daniel Mitten was red-carded for a foul on the lively Holmes.
Boss Anthony Woodhouse said: “We outplayed Esh in the first half when ultimately the damage was done.
“We worked harder than them and took the chances that came our way.
“The new signings have made the desired impact.”
North Shields: Robinson, Hughes (Holmes 22), Patterson, Dunn, Harmison, Bowlt, Mason (Grey 66), Wason (Elliott 76), Page, Douglas, Ramusson, Subs (not used) Luccock, Wright.
With the Robins’ scheduled midweek fixture at Hebburn Town called off, North Shields are next in action on Saturday when they host Darlington RA at 3pm.
Meanwhile defender Joe Elliott has been amde available for transfer.
Elliott signed from Cullercoats inthe autumn of 2009 and has made 40 appearances scoring one goal.