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North Shields 3 Thornaby 1: Rain-soaked Robins return to winning ways

Goals from Cam Cunningham, Kyle Patton and Gary Ormston helped the Robins return to winning ways, beating Thornaby 3-1 at a rain-soaked Daren Persson Stadium.

Shields fell behind early on when a goal line clearance cannoned into the goal off the back of a red shirt.

However, Cunningham levelled only minutes later, after rounding the keeper and converting from close range.

The Robins then took the lead through Patton, when the club’s top goal scorer finished well to beat the Thornaby keeper.

And Ormston wrapped up the three points for the Robins with a third goal midway through the second half.

The visitors almost got off to a perfect start when Ian Ward broke through on goal in the second minute, only for Paul New’s excellent challenge helping the Robins to recover.

However, only one minute later, Joe Scaife-Wheatley’s freekick wasn’t dealt with in the penalty area, with Callum Patton’s attempted clearance deflecting into the back of the net off Paul New’s back; handing Thornaby the lead.

Shields were able to level the score minutes later, when Callum Patton’s excellent through ball released Cunningham on goal, leaving the young winger to round James Dawson before passing the ball into an empty net.

Cunningham almost had his second of the game in the 11th minute, having broken free of the Thornaby defence before rounding the keeper once again. However, a goal line clearance from Jordan Wilson denied a certain goal.

But with the rain worsening, the Robins caught the Thornaby defence cold in the 21st minute, to take the lead for the first time.

Having picked the ball up 25 yards out from goal, Ormston fed his pass through to the unmarked Kyle Patton, before the forward placed his shot past the keeper and into the bottom corner of the net.

Shields were in complete control now and in the 23rd minute, having collected a Chris McDonald cross, Cunningham smartly turned his marker before curling his shot inches wide of the crossbar.

Chances were coming thick and fast now and only one minute later, Patton was once again streaking through the Thornaby back line. Despite being tugged down by Wilson, he stayed on his feet before his cross into the box was narrowly missed by Connor Campbell.

In the 34th minute, a Nick Cassidy freekick was almost spilled at the feet of Ormston by Dawson. Luckily for the Thornaby shot-stopper, he was able to react quickly to smother the ball.

Late in the first half, the visitors were pressing hard in search of a leveller, however, the closest they came was when Wilson’s cross into the box was directed just behind Ward, before being cleared to safety.

The rain was not letting up as the second half kicked off, with both teams struggling to maintain possession of the ball.

However, in the 48th minute, the Robins created the first chance of note when Callum Patton’s strike from distance flew over the crossbar.

With only one goal seperating the two sides, Thornaby knew they were still in with a chance and in the 54th minute, Adam Preston drove towards the Robins goal before his shot from the outside the box was sliced well wide.

Shortly afterwards, Shields had an excellent opportunity to extend their lead when Callum Patton’s pass allowed Ormston space to shoot, only for Dawson’s excellent reaction save to deflect the ball behind for a corner.

But from the resulting set piece, after the visitors failed to clear the ball, Ormston was on hand to curve the ball past the Thornaby shot-stopper from the cente of the box.

The hosts were still surging forward in search of more goals and only a minute after their third, they almost had a fourth, but Campbell’s header, from a Cunningham cross, zipped wide.

In an effort to reduce the Robins’ lead to one goal, Thornaby striker Preston tried his luck from a freekick just outside the penalty area in the 65th mintue.

Despite beating the wall, his shot was parried by the hands of Greg Purvis, before he smothered the ball at the second attempt.

Thornaby were pushing more men forward in search of a breakthrough and in the 73rd minute, substitute Liam Cooke’s low drive skimmed narrowly wide of the upright.

Three minutes after that, having dispossesed substitute Paul Robinson in the centre of the pitch, the visitors streaked forward once again, with Scott Howes’ low cross not finding anyone at the back post to turn the ball in.

After being played through on goal, Ward must have thought he was in with a golden chance of scoring Thornaby’s second of the game with ten minutes to go, only for another outstanding challenge from New to deny the striker at the last moment.

But in truth, despite being put under pressure, Purvis was rarely threatened in the Robins’ goal, with the hosts comfortably holding on for all three points.