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Shildon 3 North Shields 0: Unbeaten run comes to an end

The Robins’ unbeaten run came to an abrupt end as a Zak Atkinson double helped guide Shildon to a 3-0 win.

Despite an even first half, the Robins went into the break a goal behind, courtesy of Chay Liddle.

Straight after the restart, Atkinson took advantage of favourable conditions to double the hosts lead.

Only one minute later, Atkinson pounced on a Greg Purvis save to give Shildon a commanding three goal lead.

And despite some late pressure from the visitors, they were unable to trouble the Shildon shot-stopper, bringing an end to their 12-game       unbeaten run.

After a slow start for both teams, it was the Robins who threatened first when a Nick Cassidy cross was almost spilled by Shaun Newbrook at the feet of Kyle Patton. Luckily for the ‘keeper, he smothered the ball at the second attempt.

In the 19th minute, the Robins came within a whisker of opening the scoring, through a thunderbolt of a strike from Gary Ormston. Only a tremendous Newbrook save denied the experienced midfielder a stunning goal.

It took until the 29th minute before Shields keeper Purvis had to dirty his gloves, with a Kurt Matthews header, from a Daniel Craggs freekick, landing right in his palms.

One minute later, the hosts really should have taken the lead when Matthews’ close range shot, following a near post rebound, was deflected over the crossbar by the leg of Gary Ormston.

Shildon were warming into the game and in the 34th minute, Craggs’ effort from outside the area stung the hands of Purvis.

In the 42nd minute, the hosts managed to break the deadlock when Liddle’s shot, from the edge of the box, took a deflection off the back of Ormston and looped in off the upright.

The rain began to pour at the start of the second half and before the Robins knew it, they were two goals down.

With the wind playing havoc, the visitors failed to clear a ball inside their own penalty area, leaving Atkinson to fire past Purvis from the penalty spot.

And only moments later, the Shildon lead increased once again, this time with Atkinson reacting quickest to fire home, following a smart save from Purvis to deny Matthews.

Shields were struggling to deal with the onslaught and in the 51st minute, a towering header from Atkinson trickled wide of Purvis’ right-hand post.

In the 54th minute, Shields were almost caught out on the break, when Matthew Robson played Matthews through on goal.

However, an excellent sliding challenge from Ormston, just as the attacker was pulling the trigger, denied Shildon another effort on goal.

Despite the cold temperature, the game almost boiled over when Kyle Patton and a Shildon defender came to blows in the 56th minute, following a strong challenge. After a minute or two’s delay, both players were booked.

The Robins were beginning to enjoy more time in possession of the ball, however, they were struggling to test Newbrook with any shots at his goal.

The introduction of Paul Robinson, Connor Campbell and the returning David Hall seemed to spark a little bit of concern in the Shildon back line.

With time running out, some neat passing play resulted in Robinson having plenty of space to shoot at goal from distance, however, his shot had too much power and whizzed just over the Shildon crossbar.

Shields were pressing hard in search of a way back into the game and they almost got what they wanted, with a Cassidy cross curling just behind the onrushing Paul Van-Zandvliet and Ryan Carr, before the ball was ultimately cleared to safety.

 But it wasn’t to be for the Robins as the referee soon brought the game, and the impressive unbeaten streak, to an end.

As a result, North Shields drop one place to seventh in the Northern League Division One table, whilst Shildon AFC remain in second, four points off table topping Stockton Town.