Match Report: Robins earn hard fought point.

Marc Nash’s men picked up their first point of 2023 returning from West Yorkshire with a share of the spoils in what was a good battle between two hard-working sides.

Aaron Steavens started in goal for the Robins, with Callum Larmouth partnering Cam Cunningham up front and new acquaintance from Sunderland RCA’ Simon Jakob stepping straight into the starting line up in the middle of defense as part of five changes from last Saturday’s defeat.

It was the hosts with the first opportunity of the game as Mohammad Qasim beat the outrushing Steavens only to head his effort well wide of the target.

Callum Larmouth then danced his way through at the other end, only to see his effort deflected for a corner.

GOAL ‘14 Brighouse Town – Reon Benjamin-Potts, 1-0

Benjamin-Potts pounced as the Robins failed to clear their lines, rounded the out-rushing Steavens who was judged to bring him down, rewarding the hosts with a penalty to the dismay of the defense as the move appeared to start from a foul throw from the hosts.

The Robins picked themselves up and brushed themselves off to look for a way back into the game.

Callum Larmouth turned and hit an effort from just outside the area but it was always rising.

Shields then enjoyed a lot of possession, working the ball well inside the Brighouse half.

GOAL ‘24 North Shields – Thomas Haigh, 1-1

JJ Chrisp linked up well with McDonald down the left, skipped past two Brighouse defenders before fizzing in a cross, which Haigh tried in vain to deal with only to see his attempt cannon goalwards beyond Brett Souter to draw the Robins level.

The Robins continued to apply pressure, whilst keeping an eye out for the hosts breaking on the counter.

GOAL ‘31 North Shields – Paul Van Zandvliet, 1-2

Shields turned the game on its head, more great build up play from the Robins as Larmouth found himself inside the penalty area, crashing an effort off the goal frame before PVZ thundered his way into the six yard to latch onto the loose ball and fire the Robins into the lead.

The hosts looked to use the long ball down the right to unlock the Robins defense but struggled to time their runs and when they did, were not able to find a way through the solid wall of the Robins defense.

More attacking play from the Robins presented them a series of corners on the verge of half-time, in which debutant Jakob towered highest to head an effort goal bound only to see his effort deflected out of play.

The match official brought the first half to an end with the Robins in the driving seat and deservedly going into the break with the lead. A spirited turn around after the early setback.

The second half started with the hosts immediately going on the attack.

GOAL ‘46 Brighouse Town – Nathaniel Crofts, 2-2

A corner swung, the ball not cleared and looped its way to Crofts, who volleyed home beyond Steavens to draw the hosts level.

Another corner for the hosts led to a golden opportunity for Cunningham who latched onto the clearance, showing too much pace for the Brighouse defense, only to produce a tame effort, which was no great concern for Souter.

Larmouth saw yet another effort deflected for a corner, in the search of the lead once again.

David Palmer replaced JJ Chrisp with 20 minutes left on the clock.

The hosts started to look dangerous as they also looked in search of the lead, a ball over the top, found Benjamin-Potts, almost caught out Steavens but fortunately was able to recover and clutch the ball on the goal line.

At the other end, Shields turned defense into attack with a quick counter, Cam Cunningham danced his way into the box, before unleashing an effort from a tight angle, forcing a brilliant save Souter, with a strong hand to keep the effort out.

Tom Potter replaced Cam Cunningham with 15 minutes left with Luke Heppell replacing Callum Larmouth soon after.

The hosts were then rewarded a free kick around 20 yards out, fortunately the effort did not cause any problems for Steavens as it sailed harmlessly over the top.

Davis Robinson was picked out by a Chris McDonald throw in, with his back to goal turned his man and drove towards goal before unleashing an effort which flew over the top.

The game brought to its conclusion and the spoils shared, a fair result over the course of the 90 minutes, resulting in both fixtures this season between the two sides ending in draws.

A point gained nonetheless and a good platform to build on with more tough games coming up.

North Shields: Steavens, Forster, McDonald, Oliver, Jakob, Walker, Van-Zandvliet, Chrisp (Palmer), Larmouth (Heppell), Robinson, Cunningham (Potter).

Subs not used: Doyle

Next up for the Robins, is midweek action as we take on second top Stockton Town at the Daren Persson Stadium on Wednesday night with a 7.45pm kick off.