Coleby Shepherd opened his account for North Shields as they romped to a comfortable 4-0 win against Ryhope Colliery Welfare.
The on-loan attacker, whose deal was extended by two months, opened the scoring early on, turning Chris McDonald’s early cross into the bottom corner.
Shields added a second midway through the first half when the in-form Craig Spooner fired low, from inside the box, past Ryhope shot-stopper James Winter.
Dan Wilson put the game beyond doubt early in the second period, holding off his man before firing his twelfth goal of the season into the back of the net.
And moments before the final whistle, substitute Callum Smith rounded off a brilliant performance, converting from the penalty spot after being bundled over.
The third-placed Robins got out of the blocks quickly and almost had an opening goal within three minutes. After turning his man inside the box, Wilson saw his goalbound shot cleared off the line.
With nine minutes gone, the Robins thought they had managed to edge ahead, when defender Tom Bexton turned a Spooner cross home, only to see the linesman raise his flag for offside.
Shields were throwing everything they had at the Ryhope goal and in the 13th minute, they had their deserved breakthrough.
After McDonald fizzed the ball into the penalty area, Shepherd cut in ahead of the defender to turn the ball into the far corner, from the centre of the box.
Wilson was looking to continue his rich vein of form and four minutes after Shepherd’s strike, he almost doubled the Robins’ lead, firing his effort narrowly wide of the upright.
The visitors were now starting to find plenty of gaps in hosts defence, with Winter’s heroics in the Ryhope goal the only thing keeping the lead at one. In the 29th minute, a tremendous diving save denied Shepherd his second of the day; tipping the attacker’s curled shot behind for a corner.
However, there was nothing that Winter could do in the 34th minute as Spooner’s quick thinking helped the visitors double their lead.
After charging down a poor defensive clearance, the in-form midfielder charged into the penalty area and arched his shot, on the angle, past the onrushing goalkeeper.
Going two goals down seemed to awaken the hosts as three minutes later, they had a golden opportunity to pull one goal back, with Danni Lay’s powerful header forcing a point blank save from Greg Purvis.
One minute after that, Ryhope went even closer, after the Shields defence struggled to clear the ball to safety. Having signed from Whickham earlier in the week, Tom Scothern was inches away from turning a cross in at the far post, missing the ball by inches.
Ryhope looked to strike back early as the second half began, with Robbie Bird’s dangerous cross forcing the Shields back line into a difficult clearance in the 50th minute.
But it didn’t take long for the Marc Nash’s team to resume their dominance and in the 57th minute, they scored a third, with Wilson forcing another blocked clearance, before holding off his marker and feeding the ball beyond the reach of Winter from the middle of the box.
Three goals to the good, the Robins began to further express themselves, as Ryan Carr’s thunderbolt from range, following good play from Spooner, almost caught the Ryhope keeper cold.
However, the hosts were still proving to be a threat going forward, with Brad Hird bullying his way into the box, in the 64th minute, only for the ball to take a deflection before bobbling behind.
Entering the last 15 minutes of the game, Shields were still applying pressure in search of a fourth, as Spooner couldn’t connect with the ball just outside the box, sending his shot a yard wide of the goal.
But once again, the Colliery Welfare were still pushing for a way back into the game, with Purvis saving a point blank Ben Riding header, after the substitute was afforded far too much space in the 85th minute.
With the game all but over, Shields were handed to chance to put the cherry on top of the cake in the dying seconds, when Smith was clumsily bundled over in the penalty area.
Stepping up to take the spot kick himself, the Robins forward fired the ball into the bottom right corner, with Winter unable to keep the effort out despite getting a hand to it.
Final Score: Ryhope CW 0 North Shields 4
Referee: Christopher Joyce
Ryhope CW Starting XI: James Winter, Paul Braithwaite, David Gordon, Tom Price, Christopher Trewick (c), Danni Lay, Thomas Scothern (Bailey Judson 55), Kyle Davis, James Ellis (Ben Riding 66), Brad Hird, Robbie Bird
Yellow Cards: N/A
Unused Substitutes: Jordan Harkess, Leon Ryan
North Shields Starting XI: Greg Purvis, Andrew Cartwright (Nick Cassidy 72), Chris McDonald, Gary Ormston, Paul New, Tom Bexton, Craig Spooner (David Robinson 80), Adam Forster (c), Dan Wilson (Callum Smith 74), Ryan Carr, Coleby Shepherd
Yellow Cards: Shepherd 22
Unused Substitutes: Robbie Christie, Anthony Myers