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Guisborough Town 1 North Shields 4: Cunningham at the double as Robins run riot

Two goals from Cam Cunningham helped the Robins to a dominant 4-1 win against Guisborough Town at a muddy KGV Ground.

Cunningham opened the scoring with a fine strike early in the first half, before Paul New’s header gave the Robins a 2-0 lead at the break.

A Mark Robinson penalty at the start of the second half gave Guisborough a fighting chance.

However, Kyle Patton’s strike, after the Guisborough midfielder Joe Ferguson was sent off, restored the Robins’ two-goal cushion.

And in added time, Cunningham weaved through the home defence to finish low and put the game beyond doubt.

Shields started on the front foot and in the third minute, a Nick Cassidy freekick from just outside the area whistled over the Guisborough crossbar.

Three minutes later, a spectacular save from Ryan Catterick denied Cunningham after the young midfielder’s volley looked destined for the back of the net.

Guisborough were struggling to get a foot hold in the game and had to wait until the 10th minute for a chance on goal, with Mason McNeill’s effort sailing high over the crossbar.

In the 20th minute, Patton had a glorious chance to give the Robins the lead when he broke through on goal, however, after rounding Matthew Crust, his effort was cleared off the line by Guisborough captain Robinson.

One minute later, a mistake from Catterick gifted Rhys Williams the ball on the edge of the six-yard box. Luckily for Guisborough, the young keeper recovered well to block Williams’ effort from point blank range.

However, after a botched clearance, Gary Ormston was given time to cross the ball to Cunningham, who smashed the ball into the back of the net on the volley.

As the game entered the 36th minute, the Robins thought they should have had a penalty when Scott McCarthy was brought down in the penalty area. However, referee Craig Dean wasn’t interested and waived their claims away.

The Robins doubled their lead three minutes later when a Cassidy corner met the head of Paul New, who ghosted in at the far post the nod the ball into the back of the net.

With five minutes before the break, the hosts almost pulled a goal back through Brooklyn Miller, only for debutant Robins keeper Bradley Skirpan to make a smart save at his near post.

Guisborough came out firing in the second half and after only six minutes, the referee awarded them a spot kick when he judged New to have brought down substitute Daniel Earl.

After a short delay, Robinson made no mistake in sending Skirpan the wrong way to give Guisborough a way back into the game.

Having weathered the early storm, the Robins began to press forwards once more and in the 62nd minute, a Cunningham header, from a Cassidy freekick, forced Catterick into a save.

Four minutes after that, substitute Paul Van-Zandvliet almost converted a low cross from McCarthy, only for the Guisborough captain to make a last-ditch challenge to prevent Shields from adding a third.

The hosts chances of getting back into the game were dealt a blow in the 72nd minute when Joe Ferguson was shown a second yellow card for a late lunge; much to the dismay of the Guisborough bench.

And in the 81st minute, the Robins made good use of their advantage. After McCarthy dispossessed Miller in the centre of the pitch, he released Cunningham through on goal before the winger unselfishly set up Patton, who finished calmly into an open net.

Whilst Guisborough were licking their wounds, the prolific Robins struck again in the 91st minute, with Cunningham deservedly grabbing his second of the game and the visitors fourth.

A clever through ball from Adam Forster found Cunningham in acres of space on the edge of the box, with the youngster weaving his way past three defenders before thumping the ball past Catterick.

This result lifts North Shields to third in the Ebac Northern League Division One table, whilst Guisborough Town now sit in 11th place.