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Match Report: North Shields 4 Billingham Town 1 (16/09/20): Sensational second half send Shields second

A sensational second half performance from North Shields saw them comfortably claim all three points, beating Billingham Town 4-1.

The Robins entered the break with a narrow lead, after Dan Wilson’s effort took a heavy deflection off Matthew Osmond before beating the keeper.

Tom Bexton and Wilson added a third and fourth goal within minutes of each other, handing Shields a commanding lead midway through the second half.

Craig Spooner added a fourth to the Robins score, when he calmly placed the ball into the back of the net with ten minutes to go.

And despite Danny Boyle’s thunderbolt with moments to spare, Shields were able to comfortably hold on to all three points, sending them up to second.

The Robins were looking to build upon a strong performance against Seaham at the weekend and after nine minutes, David Robinson’s effort from the edge of the box was directed wide of the left hand post.

Not long afterwards, Coleby Shepherd, who was making his home debut for the club, tried his luck on goal, after dazzling his way through the Billy Town defence, only to see his shot sail over the crossbar.

Spooner, who was starting in place of Ryan Carr tonight, was looking to make his mark on the game and almost did so with a speculative effort, but he didn’t connect well enough with the ball and his shot flew harmlessly wide of the goal.

Midway through the first half, Billingham Town should have taken the lead, when Alex Bruton connected with a low cross into the box, but a tremendous save from Greg Purvis, followed by an excellent defensive block by Adam Forster, denied the visitors the lead against the run of play.

But it was the Robins who entered the half time break a goal up, when a low Cartwright corner found Wilson in the penalty area, whose attempt on goal took a heavy deflection off Osmond before finding the back of the net.

With a one goal advantage never secure, the hosts set about trying to double the lead. In the 51st minute, Spooner saw his goalbound effort cleared off the line, after the Billy Town keeper failed to claim a deeply swung corner.

Two minutes later, Forster was at the heart of another North Shields attack, snatching the ball off a visiting midfielder, before feeding Cartwright on the right hand side. With Wilson waiting to strike in the penalty area, a defender was able to cut the ball out before the Shields forward could get a strike away.

However, only one minute later, the hosts finally had their second of the day. After Shepherd saw his effort parried behind by the keeper, Bexton was able to react quickest from the resulting corner, nodding the ball over the line at the far post, following a goalmouth scramble.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors as only a few minutes later, Shields had their third of the game, when another sliced defensive clearance almost resulted in a second own goal, before Wilson hammered the ball home from a yard out.

With North Shields in complete control of the game, it allowed for Marc Nash to make a number of substitutions, including Robbie Christie, who had signed from Newcastle University earlier in the week.

On the stroke of the 80th minute, Shields found themselves four goals in front, after a well-placed through pall found Callum Smith charging in on goal. With Spooner in acres of space in the penalty area, Smith unselfishly squared the ball to his teammate, leaving him with a simple finish.

Billingham were left to throw everything at the ball, in search of getting something from the game and in the 85th minute, Boyle fired a thunderous shot from a tight angle past Purvis and into the bottom corner of the net, denying the Shields keeper another clean sheet.

Despite being three goals in front with only minutes left on the clock, the hosts weren’t done attacking, with Smith sending the ball skidding across the goal line, after rounding the keeper, before the visiting defence finally recovered.

But there wasn’t enough time for either side to register another chance, as the referee swiftly brought the game to an end.

Final Score: North Shields 4 Billingham Town 1

Attendance: 270

Referee: Adam Nichol

North Shields Starting XI: Greg Purvis, Andrew Cartwright, Chris McDonald (Robbie Christie 76), David Hall, Anthony Myers, Tom Bexton, Craig Spooner, Adam Forster (c) (Cam Cunningham 64), Dan Wilson (Callum Smith 71), David Robinson, Coleby Shepherd

Yellow Cards: Adam Forster (52)

Unused Substitutes: Paul New, Nick Cassidy

Billingham Town Starting XI: Lewis McDonald, Clayton McDonald, Matthew Osmond, Danny Boyle, Leon Carling, Tom Hinchley, Ashley Lavan (Elliot May 62), Christopher Emms, Danny Earl, Chris Dickinson (Connor Dunlavey 71), Alex Bruton (Guilherme Baltazar 71)

Yellow Cards: Tom Hinchley (57)

Unused Substitutes: Dom Joynes, Cameron Wilson