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North Shields 4 Whickham 1 (29/12/2018) – Robins seal emphatic win over Whickham

The Robins secured their fourth win in a row as two goals in either half condemned Whickham to a 4-1 defeat.

Two goals from Callum Johnston and Ryan Carr gave the hosts the advantage heading into the half time break.

A goal midway through the second half from John Martin gave the strugglers an avenue back into the game.

However, Jordan Summerly and Cam Cunningham helped bag the victory for the Robins on a day which was dedicated towards Kevin Hughes after he had recently made his 300th appearance for the club.

After a scrappy opening couple of minutes, the first chance of the game fell the way of the hosts when, in the ninth minute, a cleverly worked corner routine between Paul Robinson and Craig Spooner ended up testing former Shields keeper Dan Lister.

One minute later, Spooner was involved again when the former Newcastle United midfield found himself in prime position to have a go at goal. His shot from the corner of the box was saved by Lister who was being put under a lot of pressure early on.

After a quiet spell in the game, the hosts came within a whisker of opening the scoring when following a Robinson freekick, the ball was bundled off the line twice before it was eventually hacked clear to safety.

It took until the 23rd minute before the Lang Jacks registered their first serious effort on goal when a freekick taken by former South Shields midfielder Matty Pattison was deflected narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

However, in the 28th minute, a powerful goal kick from Purvis released Johnston through on goal, leaving the in-form striker to lob the keeper and give the Robins a deserved lead.

Following this goal, the game levelled out as the visitors tried to claw their way back into the game, however, in the 39th minute, Carr had a decent chance to double the lead only for his shot from the edge of the box to skip narrowly wide of the post.

This chance breathed a little life into the Lang Jacks and in the 41st minute, Damien Stevens, who joined the club from Marske, drew an impressive save out of Purvis when the striker found himself in space in the Shields penalty area.

Chances were coming thick and fast for both sides as time began to run out in the first half. Mark McManus, who has been impressive alongside Hughes at the heart of the Shields defence, tried his luck from his own half when he spotted Lister off his line. Unfortunately, the Whickham keeper scrambled back onto his line and managed to keep the ball from hitting the back of the net.

Just on the stroke of half time, the Robins finally managed to double their lead when an excellent run and cross from Summerly found Carr at the back post, with the strikers diving header proving too strong for Lister to keep out of the goal.

Rather than sitting back in the second half, the Robins came out all guns blazing and in the 48th minute, a deep swinging cross from Sean McRoberts struck the crossbar before deflecting behind for a goal kick.

Whickham started to get into the game after this chance, with Pattison once again being the chief threat. Having wormed his way into the box, the South African tried his luck from close range, only to fire into the side netting.

The Lang Jacks were really turning the screw and if not for a tremendous double save from Purvis in the 58th minute, they would have certainly scored their first goal of the game.

However, two minutes later, the visitors got themselves back into the game when John Martin towered above his marker to powerfully head a well struck corner into the back of the net.

The joy was short lived for the visitors as soon after their goal, midfielder Leepaul Scroggins was given his marching orders for what appeared to be an off the ball incident between himself and the referee.

It didn’t take long for the hosts to take advantage of having one more man on the field when in the 66th minute, Summerly weaved his way through the entire Whickham defence before placing the ball past Lister and into the back of the net.

Things went from bad to worse for Whickham as shortly after this goal, their manager Robin Falcus was sent to the stands for something he said to referee Shane Sugden.

With the game approaching the final ten minutes, substitute Cam Cunningham came ever so close to scoring his first goal for the Robins, only for his effort to take a deflection off a defender’s leg before skipping behind for a corner.

Whilst that chance came to nothing, it only took another minute for the young midfielder to go one better. After collecting the ball inside the box from a good cross, he turned on the spot before hammering his shot home past the Whickham shot-stopper.

He almost scored his second goal and the Robins fifth of the game in the 88th minute when he attempted a shot from close range at the far post, however, Lister pulled off a magnificent save to palm the ball away from the goal line under heavy pressure.

Final Score: North Shields 4 Whickham 1

Attendance: 328

Referee: Shane Sugden

North Shields Starting Eleven: Greg Purvis, Jack Donnison, Jordan Summerly, David Hall (Adam Forster 65), Mark McManus, Kevin Hughes ©, Sean McRoberts (Cam Cunningham 76), Craig Spooner, Callum Johnston, Ryan Carr (Gary Day 72), Paul Robinson

Yellow Cards: Jack Donnison

Unused Substitutes: Jack Cooper, Josh Skivington

Whickham Starting Eleven: Dan Lister, Harrison Scott, Sam Hedley, John Martin, Richard Paxton, Leepaul Scroggins, Max Cowburn, Daniel Lowther, Damien Stevens (Andrew Bulford 82), Matthew Pattison (Mark Doninger 76), Lewis Orrell

Yellow Cards: Damien Stevens

Red Cards: Leepaul Scroggins (two yellow cards), Robin Falcus

Unused Substitutes: Ross Peareth, Kyle Oliver, Scott Martindale