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North Shields 1 Whickham 0: Patton penalty puts Lang Jacks to the sword

A second half penalty from Kyle Patton gave the Robins their first win of the season after they overcame Whickham 1-0 under the lights at the Daren Persson Stadium.

An even start to the game saw both sides have multiple chances to take the lead, only for keepers Adam Bartlett and Greg Purvis to show their quality.

Patton, who joined the club during the summer from Bishop Auckland, broke the deadlock with an emphatic penalty midway through the second half, after Connor Campbell was felled in the area.

And despite a late flurry of pressure from the visiting Lang Jacks, the Robins held on for a deserved three points.

After opening day defeat against Sunderland RCA, the Robins entered this game with a point to prove. Patton was proving to be a threat early on when he broke down the right wing in the fourth minute. His cross, however, was deflected behind for a corner which was eventually cleared.

Having been awarded a freekick in the tenth minute, Whickham midfielder Conor Newton had a glorious chance to give the visitors the early lead. However, his effort was collected comfortably by Purvis.

The hosts soon regained the momentum and in the 19th minute, only a tremendous save from former York City shot-stopper Bartlett denied Campbell his first goal of the season; with the keeper smothering the ball at the second attempt.

Campbell was proving to be a thorn in Whickham’s side as the former Heaton Stannington striker connected with a looping Paul Robinson corner. Unfortunately, his headed effort was directed over the crossbar.

As the game approached half time, the Lang Jacks were starting to put more pressure on the Robins defence. In the 37th minute, former South Shields striker Carl Finnigan was on the end of a Chad Collins cross, but his powerful effort was well saved by Purvis.

Two minutes later and the visitors should have taken the lead when Kelvin Thear worked his way into acres of space at the back post, only to fire Finnigan’s cross againt the outside of the post when it would have been easier to score.

Whickham began the second half brightly and if not for another brilliant save from Purvis in the 58th minute, former Ashington winger Lee McAndrew’s shot from the edge of the six yard box would have hit the back of the net.

After weathering the early storm, the Robins began to create chances of their own, with Patton once again giving the Whickham back line tremendous problems.

In the 65th minute, a great run down the flank from the explosive winger saw him through on goal at an angle. Once again, a last-ditch challenge prevented the ball from finding a red shirt in the box.

With the Robins beginning to turn the screw, it wasn’t long before they were given a golden opportunity to take the lead.

In the 68th minute, Campbell was felled in the area, with the referee pointing to the spot immediately afterwards. Patton stepped up to send his spot kick crashing into the back of the net, past the outstretched Bartlett.

Time was beginning to run out for the high-flying Lang Jacks as they flooded forwards in search of an equaliser.

As the game entered the 87th minute, Finnigan thought he had finally broken through the resolute Robins defence, only to see the linesman waving his flag.

And with the Robins ultras in fine voice, the referee soon brought the game to a close; with the hosts deservedly earning their first points of the season.

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