MATCH REPORT: Robins rue missed chances in opening encounter

Saturday 13th August 2022

Pitching In North Premier League – East Division

North Shields 1 – 1 Lincoln United

The sun shone down on the Daren Persson stadium as North Shields opened up their Pitching In Northern Premier League – East Division campaign against Lincoln United.

Lincoln who made the 160 mile trip to North Tyneside were the quickest out of the blocks as the game commenced with some silky interlinking play to work their way into the final third, only to find themselves kept out by a solid Robins’ defensive back line.

There was an early penalty shout for the visitors, who worked their way into the Shields penalty area, only to be denied by a well timed tackle from Van Zandvleit, any shout for a penalty were waived away by match official Alex Clark.

Shields responded with a chance for Wilson, who worked his way into the visitors penalty area only to be unable to get the ball under control at the crucial point.

The visitors continued to apply pressure and move the ball around well without causing any real concern for the Robins’.

Shields started to grow more and more into the game as the half progressed, Connor Oliver tested Bottomley in the Lincoln goal from 20 yards, which he was unable to keep hold of, only to have his blushes spared as Wilson lost his balance with the follow up effort.

The Robins took over possession of the ball, looking confident as they were working their way into the LIncoln half, with some fluid passing moves. 

Wilson was presented with an opportunity after good work from McDonald down the left flank, who crossed into the penalty area, which was nodded back across goal by Potter, who picked out Wilson, who’s header sailed over the top.

David Palmer then let fly from outside the area with a volley, which flew wide of the target.

Brad Hird then got in on the action and had a close range effort saved well by Lincoln’s Bottemley.

In the 23rd minute, Shields were awarded a penalty, McDonald and Potter combined well down the left hand-side to carve a way into the Lincoln Penalty, were the ball found its way to Hird, who was upended and gave the referee no alternative than to point at the spot.

Wilson stepped and calmly slotted the penalty home to open his account for the season and give the Robins the lead.

Tom Bexton almost doubled the advantage, with a left footed effort, which went narrowly wide of the target.

Shields continued to control the game, limiting the visitors and Potter tried his chances from distance only to see his effort go past the wrong side of the post.

The Robins lost the ball in midfield and were made to pay the price in the 37th minute, as the ball fell to the feet of Lincoln’s no.9 Jake Park, who drove home a right footed effort, restoring parity for the visitors.

Shields almost instantly restored the advantage, as the ball fell to Hird in the area but fired over the top.

As the first half came to its conclusion, Shields enjoyed large amounts of possession with the visitors, always looking dangerous on the counter attack.

Potter flashed in a corner which evaded everybody and then moments later, struck the woodwork from distance leaving Bottomley, stranded to his spot.

Half time came with the scores level.

The second half started with the Robins’ flying out of the blocks, Potter cut in from the right hand side and curled a left footed effort over the top.

Shields continued to take control, creating a handful of chances with Potter causing major concerns for the Lincoln defense.

The Robins then had a succession of corners, which were not capitalized by the hosts. Lincoln’s defense held strong and were able to scramble any danger away. No.18 Callum Forster being the standout figure in the visitor’s defense.

Conner Oliver then worked his way into the penalty, only to see his effort well blocked.

The pressure continued to be applied with another series of corners but no profit was made for the Robins’.

Lincoln then started to work their way back into the game, restricting Shields’ creation of chances.

A miscommunication at the back, was almost costly for the whites’ as the impressive Forster, headed back to an out of position Bottomley, who clashed into each other as the ball rolled out for yet another corner to the Robins’.

At the other end, Shields were let off the hook in search of restoring the lead, as the Whites’ broke away into the Robins half, the ball worked into the penalty area picking out Matthew Cotton, who fired wide from 6 yards out.

The Robins then regained control of the game, only to be denied by a stern Lincoln backline.

Robins manager Marc Nash made his first change of the afternoon, with Paterson replacing the hard-working Hird.

A few moments later, there was a second change made as Robinson replaced Palmer in midfield.

The search for a winner was almost found, when Wilson, unmarked in the 6 yard box headed over with a sigh of relief from the Lincoln defense.

Reagan Paterson was next to have a go, working well down the left, cutting inside the 18 yard box only to fire an effort wide of the target.

A late winner was almost on the cards as Robinson, worked hard down the right, worked his way into the penalty area, to pick out Wilson, once again denied by Bottomley.

The referee indicated 4 minutes of added time.

In the 92nd minute, Shields were denied what would have been the winner, WIlson turned supplier, after great from Forster, the ball was flicked around the corner to Robinson, who smashed an effort off the out rushing Bottomley to keep the score level.

Then a moment of madness in the opposition dugout, as the visitors were looking to hold onto the point, as a member of the Whites’ management team wrestled for the ball with McDonald, to then go down in stages, to receive a yellow card for their somewhat eccentric performance.

The referee brought an end to the proceedings with a share of the spoils, importantly Shields were able to get the first point on the board, however, based on the number of chances and large spells of the possession, probably felt like they could have started off the season with all 3 points.

Tom Potter was awarded The Pub & Kitchen Man of the Match Award, for an impressive display.

Next up, the Robins travel to old friends Consett on Tuesday Night, with a 7.45 kick off.