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Match Report: North Shields 3 Whickham 1 (28/10/20): Fozzy fires Robins to comfortable win over Whickham

A first half strike from Adam Forster set the tone as North Shields ran out comfortable 3-1 winners over Whickham at the Daren Persson Stadium.

Following Dan Wilson’s missed penalty, Forster linked up well with the striker to give Shields a deserved lead midway through the first period.

Ryan Carr doubled the hosts advantage early on in the second half, reacting quickest to fire a parried shot home from close range.

Wilson added a third not long after, converting from the penalty spot after Callum Smith was bundled over in the penalty area.

And despite Oliver Leedham denying the Robins a clean sheet with a well-struck free kick late on, Shields comfortably held on to claim all three points.

Following on from Saturday’s disappointing performance, the Robins began on the front foot, with Smith dazzling the Whickham full back before seeing his low cross fly just beyond the reach of Wilson after three minutes.

With eleven minutes on the clock, Cam Cunningham almost notched his third goal of the season, bending his long range effort inches wide of the ‘keepers left hand post.

Smith was causing all sorts of problems for the Whickham defence and in the 16th minute, he found himself through on goal, only for Regan Ward to make a smart save with his feet.

The Lang Jacks were slowly warming into the game and after 17 minutes, newly signed Lewis McNall saw his shot from a tight angle saved well by Greg Purvis.

However, only one minute later, Shields were handed a golden opportunity to open the scoring when David Robinson was tripped in the box by the ‘keeper.

Stepping up to take it, Wilson put too much power on his shot, seeing the ball crash against the crossbar before going behind for a goal kick.

Despite the miss, the hosts didn’t let their heads drop, with Robinson’s powerful effort in the 24th minute forcing a block at the near post by Jack Errington.

But with the Whickham goal under constant threat, it wasn’t much longer before Shields had a deserved lead when in the 31st minute, Forster linked up brilliantly with Wilson, playing the one-two before firing an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

As the first half drew to a close, it was a wonder as to how the hosts hadn’t extended their lead, with Ryan Carr forcing an excellent block in the 38th minute, after his thunderous shot looked destined for the net.

But two minutes before the break, the Lang Jacks could very well have entered the break level. Having just replaced an injured Dale Burrell, Lee McAndrew burst down the wing before finding Scott Robson with a pin-point cross, only for the attacker to make a complete mess of his attempted volley.

Carr was at it again at the start of the second half, forcing the Whickham defence into some last ditch defending, following another excellent shot in the 52nd minute.

But the Robins midfielder wasn’t to be denied a third time as he reacted quickest in the 53rd minute to a parried Wilson shot, firing the ball home from only a few yards out to double the hosts lead.

Two goals down, the Lang Jacks were looking to claw their way back into the game. In the 55th minute, a low free kick was fed to Declan Bissett, whose deflected shot forced an almighty goal mouth scramble before the ball was eventually cleared.

But things went from bad to worse for the visitors as on the hour mark, Shields were awarded their second penalty of the game.

After capitalising on a defensive mistake, Smith found himself clean through with the empty goal gaping, only to be wiped out by a defender before he could pull the trigger.

Despite having missed his first effort from the spot, Wilson stepped up once again to confidently slot the ball into the bottom corner of the net, well beyond Ward’s reach.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, the hosts came very close to adding a fourth when excellent work from Robinson saw Carr presented with another gilt-edged chance, only for more heroic defending to deny the midfielder.

Having returned to the side against Bishop Auckland, substitute Kyle Patton almost marked his return to fitness with a first goal of the season, after catching the Whickham defence cold.

With only the goal keeper to beat, last season’s top scorer bent his effort a yard wide of Ward’s left hand post.

With the game all but done, the Lang Jacks did manage to score a consolation goal with seconds left on the clock, when substitute Leedham curled his brilliant free kick into the top corner of the net, leaving Purvis rooted to the spot.

But it was too little too late as the Robins claimed an important win which cements their second place position in the league, four points behind leaders Hebburn Town.

Final Score: North Shields 3 Whickham 1

Attendance: 150

Referee: Craig Chatten

North Shields Starting XI: Greg Purvis, Andrew Cartwright, Chris McDonald, Adam Forster (c) (Craig Spooner 74), Paul New, Anthony Myers, Cam Cunningham, David Robinson, Dan Wilson (Kyle Patton 65), Ryan Carr, Callum Smith (Coleby Shepherd 62)

Yellow Cards: Andrew Cartwright 90

Unused Substitutes: Nick Cassidy, Tom Bexton

Whickham Starting XI: Regan Ward, Tomas Howard, Charlie Exley, Kyle Downey, Jack Errington, Dale Burrell (c) (Lee McAndrew 32), Scott Robson, Declan Bissett, Zak Atkinson, Conor Newton (Liam Doyle 17), Lewis McNall (Oli Leedham 69)

Yellow Cards: Kyle Downey 23, Jack Errington 60

Unused Substitutes: Steve Bowey, Ross Peareth