Whickham 1 North Shields 3: Patton at the double as Robins beat 10-man Whickham

A Kyle Patton double helped the Robins to a comfortable 3-1 away win against Whickham, who had Stephen Little sent off in the second half.

The former Bishop Auckland winger’s strike, followed by a Scott McCarthy goal with seconds to spare, gave the Robins a 2-0 lead at the break.

Whickham pulled a goal back early in the second period through Dale Burrell to give the hosts a chance.

However, the Lang Jacks were reduced to ten men shortly afterwards when Little was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Patton.

And to make matters worse, an error from Whickham keeper Ross Coombe allowed Patton a simple finish to take the game out of the hosts reach.

The Lang Jacks started on the front foot and after only five minutes, a Chad Collins freekick found Little in the penalty area, only for the defender to direct his header wide of the goal.

Shields were being put under pressure by the Whickham forward line and in the 19th minute, Ross Peareth collected the ball on the edge of the area before firing his shot inches wide.

There were strong appeals for a penalty from the home supporters in the 22nd minute when Andrew Bulford was tackled in the penalty area by Paul New. However, the referee judged the defender to have made contact with the ball and waived those claims away.

At the half way point of the first half, the Robins were able to start creating chances of their own. In the 28th minute, McCarthy saw his header zip narrowly wide of the upright.

However, this didn’t stop the hosts going forward as a low strike from Matty Pattinson struck the foot of the post in the 35th minute, with the Shields keeper rooted to the spot.

With five minutes left in the half, the Robins took the lead when some great vision from Cam Cunningham spotted Patton racing through on goal. After a pinpoint cross, Patton calmly stroked the ball past the keeper from the edge of the area.

Just before half time, Shields doubled their lead when McCarthy was played through on goal by Paul New, before the former Newcastle Benfield attacker dinked the ball over the onrushing keeper and into the back of the net.

The hosts came out of the blocks firing in the second half and in the 52nd minute, Burrell gave the Lang Jacks a way back into the game. After being played through by Pattinson, Tom Howard slipped the ball back to the midfielder who converted from close range.

However, only two minutes later, they were down to ten men after Little scythed down Patton on the half way line. Having already been on a yellow card, referee Steven Lawson had no choice but to give the Whickham defender his marching orders.

Being a man down didn’t deter the Lang Jacks, with Bulford coming within inches of drawing the hosts level in the 65th minute.

But only four minutes later, the Robins scored their third goal of the game after Patton capitalised on a goalkeeping error. Following Nick Cassidy’s freekick, which deflected off the wall, Whickham keeper Ross Coombe came to collect the ball, only to completely miss it, leaving Patton with the simplest of finishes.

With time running out, the hosts were looking to claw their way back into the game. Pattinson came close to getting a goal back in the 79th minute, only to draw a strong save from Purvis.

The further the Lang Jacks pushed forwards, the more space at the back for the Robins to attack and in the 81st minute, they almost scored a fourth.

McCarthy, who started the game up top in place of Connor Campbell, muscled his way past the tiring Whickham defence before unleashing a shot at goal. After making a smart save, Coombe was on hand to tip substitute Chris Salmon’s follow up away from the goalmouth.

The game had really opened up at this point, with both teams looking to add to their goal tally’s. In the 85th minute, Burrell almost had his second of the game when he skipped past several defenders before flashing his effort across the face of goal.

Shields never stopped applying pressure to the Whickham goal and with seconds remaining in the game, Cam Cunningham had a glorious chance to put the cherry on the cake after breaking forward from his own half.

After the mazy run, his effort was blocked by Coombe, before McCarthy’s clore range shot is blocked by a last ditch sliding tackle from substitute Charlie Exley.

The win lifts North Shields to sixth in the Division One table whilst Whickham now sit in 16th place; five points off the bottom.

Whickham AFC Starting Eleven: Ross Coombe, Tom Scothern, Tom Howard, Stephen Little, Alexandros Sakellaropoulos, Ross Peareth (c), Lee McAndrew (Charlie Exley 46), Dale Burrell, Andrew Bulford, Matty Pattinson (Daniel Cranston 80), Chad Collins (Max Cowburn 73)

Red Cards: Stephen Little 54

Unused Substitutes: Clark Kay

North Shields Starting Eleven: Greg Purvis, Nick Cassidy, Chris McDonald, Gary Ormston, Paul New, Wayne Buchanan (Rhys Williams 26), Paul Van Zandvliet, Cam Cunningham, Scott McCarthy, Ryan Carr (c), Kyle Patton (Chris Salmon 76)

Unused Substitutes: Paul Robinson, Connor Campbell, Denver Morris