North Shields 3-0 Thornaby
Confident Robins dispose of second placed Thornaby to close the gap. – The point lead was shortened between 2nd placed Thornaby and 4th placed North Shields as Marc Nash’s side comfortably dispatched of the Teeside outfit on Saturday.
North Shields started the game with a good intensity, with Adam Forster making a good run on the opposition goal but ‘keeper Josh Mazfari claimed.
Shields kept the pressure on, and whilst camped on the edge of the Thornaby box an overlapping run from Andy Cartwright was found by Paul Van-Zandvliet but the shot was launched over the bar six minutes in.
Just moments later in the eighth minute the favour was returned as Cartwright was marauding down the right and pulled a ball back for Paul Van but this time the keeper saved.
11 minutes was all it took for Shields to make their mark on the game, with ever-present number nine Dan Wilson got himself on the scoresheet. Firing home from close range as the Thornaby defence finally caved to the Shields pressure.
Thornaby struggled to deal with the wing-back presence as Chris McDonald this time got beyond his man in the 16th minute and pulled a ball back to Cam Cunningham who positioned himself well but could only fire over the bar.
Two minutes later it was McDonald again who threatened down the left, a great one two with Wilson put him behind the Thornaby defence and into the left channel. The shot was smothered by a very busy Mazfari.
A double change in personnel for Thornaby and a drastic change in formation came in the 24th minute, which managed to stifle the stride of Shields who remained dominant, however failed to create anything dangerous for the remainder of the half.
The second half remained like the latter stages of the first until a change was forced upon Shields boss Nash in the 55th minute after Cunningham went down after a suspected hamstring injury. Jack Leonard was the man to replace him.
The 56th minute was the telling moment of the match, as McDonald intelligently called to crowd the box, and after launching an excellent long throw into the box the in-form Brad Hird was present to finish the chance and double the Shields lead.
More pressure from Shields as a corner was forced by Paul Van in the 64th minute. The ensuing corner was headed out, but only as far as Adam Forster. Who, from the edge of the box smashed it home emphatically, sinking Thornaby and putting the game away for good.
In the 66th minute Dan Wilson was replaced by Callum Smith.
Shields continued to dominate the game, intelligent runs from Smith and tricky feet from Paul Van made excellent features but failed to generate more than agonizing groans of ‘what if’ from the crowd.
Gary Ormston was replaced in the 77th minute by Nick Cassidy which proved to be the last notable act of the game.
FULL TIME: NORTH SHIELDS 3-0 THORNABY