Goals from Gaz Bainbridge, Jack Cooper, Gary Day and Callum Johnston secured the Robins a resounding 4-1 friendly win over Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.
Having struck the post early on, Bainbridge’s close-range headed effort gave the Robins the lead at half time.
A well-worked goal from Scott Jasper drew the visitors level shortly after the restart.
Cooper soon restored the lead after his shot was bundled over the line by a visiting defender.
And with time running out, strikes from Day and Johnston gave the Robins a morale boosting win ahead of the league match against Shildon.
On a still night, it was the Robins who threatened to open the scoring first when a brilliant through ball found found Sean McRoberts out on the wing, in the ninth minute, before the winger’s cross was plucked out of the air by Ryton keeper David Hansen.
After an evenly contested 15 minutes, the Robins began to dominate time in possession. In the 21st minute, a fizzing pass from Jack Donnison found Bainbridge before the striker thundered his effort from distance against the crossbar.
Moments later, the Robins went close once again through the returning Adam Forster when he managed to round the keeper before firing at goal from an angle, only to see the ball blocked on the line.
Pressure was beginning to mount on the Ryton defence and in the 25th minute, Donnison broke free down the flank before firing a dangerous cross into the box; one which Hansen did well to recover.
However, four minutes later, the dam finally broke when a Paul Robinson cross found Bainbridge unmarked in the box, with the striker thumping his header into the back of the net.
Despite going behind, the visitors kept themselves in the game, with some impressive defending from the Robins back line stifling the Ryton attack; keeping the score 1-0 heading into the break.
After making a number of changes, the Robins carried on where they left off, when Johnston’s shot from the edge of the box struck the post; with the keeper rooted to the spot.
However, three minutes into the second half, Ryton drew level when Jasper managed to outmuscle his marker before delicately chipping the ball over the onrushing Michael Robinson and into the back of the net.
The home support didn’t have to wait too long for a response as in the 52nd minute, substitute Cooper worked his way inside the penalty area before shooting at goal, with the ball bobbling over the line despite the best efforts of Ryton fullback Mason Stephenson.
Having fallen behind for the second time, the visitors did not let that deter them as they continued to press forward. More fine defending from the entire Robins defence managed to keep Jasper and his striking partner Sam Norris at bay.
With the game entering the final 15 minutes, the hosts quality began to shine through and in the 75th minute, a fantastic run from Johnston, and a perfect cross to match, fell to Day on the edge of the six-yard box. After dummying his first shot, he emphatically hammered home to give Shields a two-goal advantage.
This goal seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back as only two minutes later, Johnston got himself deservedly onto the scoresheet when he headed home from close range after the ball was parried.
Despite the now emphatic scoreline, Ryton still worked themselves into dangerous positions and with a little more of lady luck on their side, they could have very well added a second or a third.
With Marcus Giles and Tom Hizzett making appearances for the Robins against Newcastle Blue Star, it was the turn of youth prospect Robbie Christie to get some valuable game time. In the 80th minute, some excellent play between the New Hartley Junior player and Josh Skivington almost resulted in another chance on goal, only for a defending to clear the ball to safety.
Final Score: North Shields 4 Ryton & Crawcrook Albion 1
North Shields Starting Eleven: Greg Purvis, Jack Donnison, Chris McDonald, David Hall, Josh Nearney, Kevin Hughes (c), Sean McRoberts, Adam Forster, Gareth Bainbridge, Ryan Carr, Paul Robinson
Yellow Cards: N/A
Ryton & Crawcrook Albion: David Hansen, Mason Stephenson, Jack Moody, Callum Turnbull, David Below (c), Gavin Dick, David Luke, Tyler Davis, Scott Jasper, Sam Norris, Jamie Dunn