Match Report | ‘Never give up attitude pays off for Robins’

A stoppage time Chris McDonald strike ensured that the Robins left the UTS Stadium with a more than well deserved point.

With the availability of both Jack Walker and Simon Jakab, Marc Nash was able to put Connor Oliver back into the midfield, after doing a sterling job at the weekend.

The opening exchanges were somewhat scrappy with neither team able to get a real foothold on the game, Connor Oliver went on a deep run beyond the Dunston backline only to see his cross cleared for a corner.

Moments later, Oliver picked the ball wide of the right hand side, skipped past two Dunston players before trying a curled effort wide of the target.

At the other end, a long ball over the top almost caused real issues for the Robins defense, only to be saved by a vital interception at full stretch from Jakab.

The game progressed with the majority of the play in the middle of the park, a number of soft decisions going against Shields as they looked to move onto the front foot.

Robinson had the chance to open the scoring for the Robins after Dan Wilson muscled his way down the left hand flank, powering his way into the box before cutting the ball back to Robinson, whose effort rose over the bar.

GOAL 23’ Dunston – Sado Djalo, 1-0

The hosts first real meaningful attack of the game, the ball played out wide to Jack Elliot, who swung in a high cross which found its way to Sado Djalo at the back post, whose effort found its way past Steavens to break the deadlock.

In a bid to get back into the game before halftime, Stephen Fortser and Callum Larmouth linked up well to set up Wilson in the middle, his turn and shot fired just the wrong side of the post.

Callum Larmouth unmarked in the middle the box, glanced a header goal bound but got too much on it as the ball found its way to Staples between the posts for the hosts.

Connor Oliver swung in a dangerous corner which caused all sorts of problems as it pinballed around the penalty area before Duston eventually cleared their lines.

On the stroke of half time, the hosts had the opportunity to double their advantage going into the break, Loanee Will Jenkins pounced on a loose header, danced his way through the Robins defense before toe poking an effort just wide of the front post to the relief of the Shields defense.

Half time was upon us, Shields in at the break a goal down, created enough chances to be level but lacked the quality required in the final third to execute the finish. Dunston made it hard for Shields moving the ball and looking to use the outlet of Elliot to cause issues down the left.

Second half started and the hosts had the first effort, Jake Jensen firing well over the top from outside the area.

The Robins pressed, looking to find a way back into the game, using Wilson as the main threat to the Dunston defense.

The hosts looking to kill the game off, came close when Will Jenkins tried his luck with an acrobatic finish, his effort going narrowly wide of the mark.

Chris McDonald won the ball back on half way before playing an inch perfect through ball to Larmouth, whose touch was slightly too heavy forcing him wide and was unable to wrap hit foot around the ball as he hit an effort towards goal.

Aaron Steavens was on hand to make a great save with feet low down to keep out Dale Pearson who made a marauding run deep into the Shields half, working his way into the box before letting fly.

Marc Nash shuffled his pack and introduced fresh legs with Tom Potter and Regan Paterson coming on for Cam Cunnigham and David Palmer.

With just over 10 minutes to go, the Robins had a penalty claim dismissed by the match official, a freekick swung in by Oliver, ricocheted around the penalty as the shouts for handball could be heard loud and clear, nothing given.

Dunston missed another chance to kill the game off, Dale Pearson with a headed effort marginally wide of the target.

The game drawing closer and closer to its conclusion, Paterson and Forster unlocked the Dunston defense, Paterson with a teasing cross forced out for a corner. The resulting corner headed away.

Paul Van-Zandvliet was introduced to the action taking the place of David Robinson with a few minutes left.

GOAL 90’ North Shields – Chris McDonald, 1-1

The Robins pressing and with one last roll of the dice, the ball worked to McDonald in acres of space about 30 yards, drove towards goal cutting inside a unleashing a right footed thunderbolt into the bottom corner beyond Staples.

Deservedly level right at the death, the game concluded with a share of the spoils. The point the minimum deserved for the performance put in by the Robins over the course of 90 minutes, lovely flowing football opened up some good opportunities, which could have resulted in Shields going home with all 3 points.

North Shields: Steavens, Forster, McDonald, Oliver, Jakab, Walker, Robinson (Van-Zandvliet ‘85), Palmer (Paterson ‘78), Wilson, Cunningham (Potter ‘78), Larmouth.

Subs not used: Hodgson, Chrisp

Attendance: 230

Next Up: Lincoln United (A) – Saturday 11th March – 3pm