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North Shields 1 Ryhope CW 1: Record-breaking penalty rescues a point

Gareth Bainbridge surpassed Don Winskill to become the Robins’ top post-war goalscorer after his late penalty secured a 1-1 draw against Ryhope CW.

A closely contested first half saw neither team make the breakthrough, with the scores level at the start of the second period.

Ryhope took the lead with 20 minutes to go when substitute James Ellis converted a low shot into the bottom corner.

The Robins were then forced to finish the game with 10 men after Cam Cunningham went off with a knee injury, after all three substitutions had been made.

But with minutes left on the clock, substitute Bainbridge calmly converted his spotkick, following a foul on Kyle Patton, to hand the Robins a shair of the spoils.

Shields applied pressure from the opening whistle, with Cunningham’s free kick stinging the palms of Ryhope ‘keeper James Winter in the fourth minute.

Two minutes later, Connor Campbell tried his luck from range, only to see the ball sail wide of the left-hand post.

The visitors began to threaten in the tenth minute and after a Paul New mistake, Brad Hird rounded the keeper and fired at goal, only for the former Darlington RA defender to clear the ball off the line.

As the first half went on, the visitors were having more of a say, with excellent defending from New and Chris McDonald preventing Ryhope from testing Greg Purvis.

In the 30th minute, Shields came closest to opening the scoring when a Nick Cassidy freekick almost caught Winter out, with the ball landing on top of the net.

Patton had an excellent chance to open the Robins account for the day later in the half when he connected with a Chris McDonald through ball. However, he saw two consecutive shots blocked by a defender before his third effort dribbled wide.

Minutes before the break, McDonald found himself in acres of space 25-yards out from goal, but his long range effort didn’t trouble Winter in the Ryhope goal.

The hosts almost had the perfect start to the second half when Patton burst into the Ryhope penalty area, but after centering the ball to Campbell, the young striker’s shot trickled inches wide of the bottom corner.

Then, ten minutes after the restart, Adam Forster took it upon himself to try and break the deadlock, only to send a driving effort clear of the Ryhope crossbar.

Ryhope were strongly appealing for a penalty in the 61st minute, when Hird went down under a challenge from New, however, the referee quickly waved the claims away, much to the disagreement of the visiting bench.

But their frustrations were not to last as in the 67th minute, substitute Ellis collected a good through ball from midfielder Ollie Hotchkiss, before turning past Nick Cassidy and curling the ball into the bottom corner.

Shields were looking for a quick response and only two minutes later, Callum Smith almost gave Winter something to think about, sending his shot crashing into the side netting.

Having already made all three of his substitutions, Marc Nash’s evening went from bad to worse when Cunningham went down with a knee injury and was unable to continue, leaving the Robins with 10 men for the remainder of the game.

But this seemed to galvanise the hosts and in the 85th minute, they were awarded a penalty when Patton was felled in the area by Carl Jones.

Taking the responsibility upon himself, Bainbridge stepped up to take the penalty, sending the ‘keeper the wrong way to not only level the game for Shields, but also to secure his record in the process.

Ryhope had a great opportunity to snatch all three points right at the death when Ellis broke clean through on the Shields goal, leaving Purvis to make a smart save with his feet to keep the scores level.

And this proved to be the last action of the game as referee Craig Dean blew the final whistle to bring the game to a close.

Final Score: North Shields 1 Ryhope CW 1

Attendance: 230

Referee: Craig Dean

North Shields Starting XI: Greg Purvis, Nick Cassidy (Craig Spooner 79), Chris McDonald, Gary Ormston, Paul New, Wayne Buchanan, Adam Forster (c), Cam Cunningham, Connor Campbell (Gareth Bainbridge 68), Callum Smith (Paul Robinson 79), Kyle Patton

Yellow Cards: N/A

Unused Substitutes: Ben Christensen, Rhys Williams

Ryhope CW Starting XI: James Winter, Danni Lay, Elliot Woods, Ben Riding (c), Carl Jones, Christopher Wallace, Matthew Weirs (David Vincent 73), Olly Hotchkiss, Brad Hird (Jack Devlin 88), Sam Hodgson, Bailey Judson (James Ellis 51)

Yellow Cards: Ben Riding (4), James Winter (80)

Unused Substitutes: Jordan Harkess, Liam Robson