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North Shields 3 Stockton Town 2 (25/08/2018) – Rampant Robins finally taste victory following 3-2 win over Stockton

The Robins finally earned their first victory of the season as they overcame a talented Stockton Town side 3-2.

Despite a slow start, goals for Jack Cooper and Craig Spooner gave a dominant Shields side a two goal lead going into the halftime break.

Straight from the restart, Michael Roberts pulled a goal back to give the visitors a foothold into the game.

However, with nine minutes left in the game, Gary Day scored his second goal in two games when he capitalised on a spill from the goalkeeper and passed the ball home from close range.

And despite a late goal for Roberts, the Robins were able to hold on for the three points.

The visitors began the game with a lot of confidence and in the sixth minute, a scrappy shot from Sonni Coleman was comfortably saved by Greg Purvis.

Two minutes later, a dangerous freekick from Jake Petitjean almost broke the deadlock when the ball cannoned off the crossbar before it was cleared to safety.

Stockton then came within a whisker of opening the scoring in the 14th minute when a dangerous corner was whipped into the penalty area, however, not one person was able to make contact with the ball as it sailed harmlessly away for a goalkick.

The Robins were able to get their own game started in the 22nd minute when Day, who had smartly turned his man, could only scuff his shot wide of the goal.

However, only one minute later, the hosts found themselves infront when Cooper fired on goal from outside the penalty area, with the ball zipping past Stockton shot-stopper Michael Arthur.

Not wanting to let the game get away from them, Stockton got back on the front foot and if not for a corner which was headed narrowly over the bar, they could very well have drawn level.

Confidence was high amongst the Shields players and in the 33rd minute, following some incredible play from Jordan Summerly, Cooper was released through on goal, however, an excellent tackle as he was about to pull the trigger denied a certain goal.

Four minutes later, following a cushioned header from Lewis Suddick, Spooner struck a first time volley which looped over the head of Arthur before nestling into the top hand corner of the net; outstanding goal!

Robinson had an effort of his own with one minute left in the half, only for Arthur to redeem himself, following an earlier error, by getting his body behind the ball.

Shields failed to get started in the second half and in the 47th minute, Roberts, with the ball at his feet on the corner of the box, struck the ball across the goal and into the back of the net past Purvis.

This seemed to awaken the hosts as in the 52nd minute, Day almost capitalised on a fantastic run from Lewis Suddick, however, his close range shot missed the target; largely due to defensive pressure.

The Robins were continuing their fine second half performance and following a short corner from Cooper, the ball needed to be headed behind by a defender to prevent the hosts a chance of adding a third.

Robinson, who was our hero against Hebburn, was being his destructive self on the wing and in the 66th minute, his cross into the box was collected in the air by Arthur.

How the Robins hadn’t added another goal was beyond me, especially when Cooper’s long range shot somewhow whistled wide of the Stockton goal.

The Robins were almost made to pay for their missed chances as in the 79th minute, a headed effort from a corner was cleared off the line by Jack Donnison before the ball was scrappily cleared away to safety.

Almost immediatly, Day charged towards the Stockton goal before unleashing a powerful shot, one which required Arthur to be at his best as he smartly tipped the effort away from the goal.

With time running out, Shields finally made all of their pressure count when, after Arthur appeared to spill the ball infront of his goal, Day fought hard to win the ball before he turned on the spot and passed the ball into the back of the net.

As the game approached injury time, Stockton were able to score themselves a consolation goal when Roberts capitalised on some tired Robins defenders to loop the ball past Purvis and into the goal.

However, with the Robins defending resolutely, time ran out for the 2017/18 Vase finalists and Shields were able to hold out for their first victory of the season.

Final Score: North Shields 3 Stockton Town 2

North Shields Starting Eleven: Greg Purvis, Jack Donnison, Jordan Summerly, Gary Ormston, Noah Summers (Richard Pell 82), Kevin Hughes, Lewis Suddick, Craig Spooner, Gary Day (Connor Campbell 84), Jack Cooper (Ben Sampson 75), Paul Robinson.

Yellow Cards: Jack Cooper 68.

Unused Substitutes: Cam Cunnningham & Drew Eastlake.

Stockton Town Starting Eleven: Michael Arthur, Joseph Carter, James Risbrough, Jake Petitjean, Max Craggs, Alan Cossavella, Fred Woodhouse, James Ward, Michael Roberts, Sonni Coleman, Matthew Garbutt (Nathan Mulligan 44).

Yellow Cards: N/A

Unused Substitutes: Curtis Dunn, Jordan Robinson & Liam Jordan.