Match Report | ‘Robins complete a Bank Holiday double sweep’

Match Report

Saturday 8th April 2023

Northern Premier League – East Division

Shildon 2 – 3 North Shields

‘Robins complete a Bank Holiday double sweep’.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 By Sam Cave

After Saturday’s brilliant 1-0 win at home to Long Eaton, Marc Nash’s men came into the tie full of confidence, as they traveled to County Durham to take on old friend’s Shildon.

As ever with that part of the world, the weather, unpredictable as it always seems to be, turned somewhat wet as kick-off approached before the heavens opened.

It was the hosts who started the brighter, putting the Robins on the back foot, forcing the defense to soak up early pressure. Despite the early pressure, poor finishing let them down in the final third.

The Robins took time to get into the game as they looked to get into their stride in the wet conditions, they were able to move the ball around well but unable to create anything clear cut in the first quarter of an hour.

GOAL 24’ North Shields – Van Zandvliet, 0-1

Similar scenario to Saturday, after absorbing the attacking threat of Shildon, Shields pounced half way through the first half, a good move down the left, as Tom Potter picked out Chris McDonald, who saw his cross cleared as far as Paul Van, who took a touch to set himself before firing the ball through the keepers legs and into the back of the net.

A goal down despite being the more threatening, things got worse for the hosts when they forced into a change, when Ben Reay went down innocuously on the half hour mark and was unable to continue.

Shildon continued to cause a threat to the Robins end of the pitch with the weather remaining miserable, a soft freekick for the hosts could have proved difficult but was well dealt with by Steavens.

The hosts continued to press and look for a leveler, they were able to find themselves space in good positions but wasteful finishing let them down.

GOAL 40’ North Shields – Callum Larmouth, 0-2

A brilliant team goal, with an intricate move involving Paul Van, Chris McDonald, Tom Potter, Dan Wilson as the ball was worked to Larmouth, who fired first time beyond Keaton Marrs, doubling the Robins advantage on the verge of half time.

Half-time upon us, the weather unable to make its mind up if it wanted to rain or not, the Robins two goals to the good and the hosts bemused as to how they were behind at the break.

Within minutes of the second half starting, Callum Larmouth found himself in on goal, after brilliant hold up play from Wilson before a ball over the top, plated him in, bearing down on goal, a scuffed effort let the hosts off.

GOAL 55’ North Shields – Dan Wilson, 0-3

The Robins pressing and looking to finish the tie, bagged themselves a third, when Dan Wilson capped off a fine performance, turning his man and muscling his way through on goal before composing himself and slotting home beyond Marrs.

Three goals to the good and looking good for it, most would have thought that it would be plain sailing from that point, however, Shildon weren’t to go down without a fight.

GOAL 65’ Shildon – Billy Gruelich-Smith, 1-3

The big target man for the hosts, who had proved to be a threat all afternoon, pulled one back for the hosts with a neat finish.

Dan Turner took the place of Tom Potter just after the hour, who worked tirelessly all afternoon.

The hosts almost pulled back a second goal, only for the effort to be dragged wide of Steavens far post.

Dan Turner carved open the Shildon defence with a timely placed through ball, picking out Robinson down the right, who drove into the penalty before firing just over at the front post.

Cam Cunningham replaced David Palmer, with around a quarter of an hour, a captivating performance in the middle of the park from the former Shildon player.

The game coming close to its conclusion, the Robins looking to seal it with a 4th goal and the hosts looking to find a second, Paul Van found himself in the wars on a couple of occasions, both 50/50 challenges which the big man was never going to back out from.

GOAL 87’ Shildon – Jack Vaulks, 2-3

With time running out and the hosts pushing for a way to salvage something from the game, a corner awarded to the hosts, resulted in Jack Vaulks beating his man at the front post to steer the ball home.

Looking to kill the little time remaining, Liam Doyle replaced the ever-hard working Dan Wilson.

Five minutes added time indicated and the hosts, should have a had a third but it may have somewhat controversial had it gone in, as the ball appeared to go out of play, as they worked their way down the right hand side, before a deep ball swung in, cleared everybody but Gruelich-Smith at the back post, who steered his header the wrong side of the post to the relief of the Robins.

The Robins were able to see out the remainder of the added time and complete a Bank Holiday double sweep, six massive points picked with just two more league games remaining.

Next up for the Robins is an away trip this coming Saturday, with a trip to the seaside as we take on Cleethorpes Town.

North Shields: Steavens, Forster, McDonald, Palmer, Jakab, Walker, Robinson, Van Zandvliet, Wilson, Potter (Turner ‘65), Larmouth.

Subs not used: Joisce, Fogarty

Attendance: 368

Next Up: Cleethorpes Town (A) – Saturday 15th April – 3pm