By Philip Reay. Match sponsored by: Shaun Matthias Ltd.

James Talbot scored a hat-trick and fellow teenager Ryan Bolam made history as South Shields eventually overcame Stokesley with a 4-1 victory on Saturday.

Bolam, a member of Shields’ successful Under-18 side, came on with around 25 minutes to go, and the 16-year-old capped a good debut performance with a goal to become the youngest goalscorer for the club in the modern era.

Shields started the game on the front foot as Adam Sharp disposed a Stokesley defender before playing the ball into the path of Paul Kane, but his shot was comfortably saved by Daniel Bowman.

Stokesley responded instantly through Callum Revely, who picked the ball up in the centre of the park and brushed aside the challenges of Shields defenders before driving the ball towards goal, only to be denied by a good save by goalkeeper Steven Hubery.

The hosts maintained the pressure on the Shields defence as David Edwards was awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal.

Edwards placed the ball and fired his shot into the defensive wall, before reacting quickest to pick the ball up and send another shot at goal that was cleared by Steven Graham.

Shields began to exert pressure on the home defence as David Molloy dispossessed Mathew Crossen. He raced away from his marker before sending a shot at goal that was blocked by Kristian Kamara, and the danger was cleared.

With the game approaching the quarter-hour mark, Chris Feasey broke down the left flank before playing the ball into the feet of Molloy, who controlled the ball before firing a shot on the turn that was well saved by Bowman.

Shields were dominating possession as they pinned the home side deep in their own half.

Kane collected the ball wide on the left flank and played the ball into the path of Stephen Ramsey, and he in turn found Sharp. He turned his man before sending Kane clear, and he rifled the ball at goal from the angle of the box, only to be denied by a superb diving save by Bowman.

Against the run of play, Stokesley went a goal up. From a free-kick on the left, Wilfred Dinsdale found Gerard Richardson in space, and he headed in from close range.

Shields responded well to the set back and pressed forward from the restart, but Kane saw his progress halted by Ryan Grier on the edge of the ‘D’. Graham fired the ball towards goal, but Clark Reeder was on hand to head the ball clear.

The Mariners continued to pressurise the Stokesley defence, and were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal. Feasey fired the ball into the box, but Jake Marron headed the ball behind for a corner; from which Talbot found Ramsey, but the striker fired wide of the post.

Shields were eventually rewarded for their pressure on 34 minutes when Molloy played the ball into the path of 19-year-old Talbot, and he curled a superb shot into the top corner of the goal.

Despite controlling the game, the visitors were unable to add to their tally.

They came close in the final minute of the half as Kane and Molloy combined on the left before Molloy fired the ball towards Ramsey, but Bowman managed to tip the ball off the head of the Shields striker.

The Mariners started the second half on the front foot. Craig Roberts picked the ball up on the right flank and released Sharp, who turned away from his marker before playing the ball to Molloy on the edge of the box, but his shot stuck the base of the post before being hacked clear.

The Stokesley defence were holding firm in the face of constant pressure from the Shields side, and with the hour mark approaching Molloy ran onto a long ball, but his shot was well saved by Bowman.

A minute later, Ramsey broke clear, but his shot was turned round the post for a corner. Talbot played the resulting corner towards Graham, but his shot flew wide of the post.

On 67 minutes, Bolam replaced Ramsey to come on for his debut.

Shields were dominating possession, but were finding it difficult to create clear scoring opportunities.

With 15 minutes remaining, Roberts won the ball on the right and sent Kane clear, but again the striker was unable to trouble the home keeper.

With seven minutes left, Shields eventually broke the home side’s resistance.

Roberts and Molloy combined to release Talbot, and he made no mistake as he doubled his and Shields’ tally.

From the restart, the Mariners again broke forward, and good interplay between Molloy and Bolam ended as Bolam fired in from an acute angle to double the Shields advantage.

In the final minute, Talbot completed the scoring as he fired in to complete his hat-trick and give Shields a 4-1 victory ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Ryton and Crawcrook Albion.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Hubery, Roberts, Feasey, Locke, Burn, Graham, Talbot, Sharp (Stephenson 74), Ramsey (Bolam 67), Molloy, Kane. Sub not used: Salim.

Goals: Talbot (34, 83, 89), Bolam (84).

South Shields FC Under-15s 7-1 Whickham Fellside Greens, Sunday November 30

South Shields FC: Ramage, Rafferty (c), Henderson, Andersen, McGill, Smith, Slater, Daglish, Howe, Hogg, McBeth. Subs: Urwin, Gilchrist.

Whickham: Howe, Harrison, Cooper, Nilod, Hall, Kirkup, Hodgson, Quinn, Carey, Graham, Joyce. Subs: Bratch, James, Morton, Millman.


South Shields: McGill (2), Howe (2), Smith, Slater, McBeth.

Whickham: Ramage (og)

Report by Philip Reay

South Shields returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory over Whickham, but the opening exchanges gave no indication that the margin of victory would be as wide, as the visitors’ goal was not breached until the 21st minute.

Shields started well, but were unable to break through the visitors’ defence.

On 11 minutes, a free-kick was awarded to Shields on the edge of the Whickham box. Codie Howe (pictured) placed the ball before sending a curling shot that just cleared the crossbar.

The young Mariners maintained the pressure on the Whickham defence, and a fine move between Howe and Liam Simpson McGill opened up the defence, but Howe fired his shot well wide of the upright.

Within a minute, the Whickham defence was again under pressure as Scott Rafferty fired a ball towards James Hogg, but his deft flick was well saved by the opposition keeper.

From the restart, the ball fell into the path of George Daglish and he sent a looping shot over the onrushing defenders, but again the keeper was on hand to deny Shields.

The pressure eventually bore fruit with the game in the 20th minute. Hogg played the ball wide to Simpson McGill and he sent the ball towards Alex McBeth, whose initial shot was blocked by the keeper, but the ball ballooned up and McBeth was on hand to head in from close range.

As with buses, one soon became two. Howe collected the ball on the edge of the ‘D’ and rifled the ball into bottom corner of the goal to double the Shields advantage.

Shields continued to dominate the game as the visitors were finding it difficult to break out of their half.

With the game approaching the half-hour, James Hogg won the ball in the centre of the park before sending a pass wide to McBeth. He took the ball in his stride and outpaced the defence before sending a curling shot towards goal from the angle of the box that beat the outstretched hand of the keeper, but the ball grazed the top of the bar and the score remained 2-0.

In the closing minutes of the half, Rafferty released Hogg, but his shot was well saved by the keeper.

The last action of an entertaining half saw Rafferty break through the opposition defence, but his shot flew just wide and the sides went into the break with Shields two goals to the good.

At the start of the second period, McBeth collected the ball in a central position, but his shot was well saved by the keeper.

From the goal kick, Hogg collected the ball and floated a pass over the defence for Simpson McGill to run onto, but again the Whickham keeper denied Shields with another good save.

The young Mariners were not to be denied, and five minutes into the half Howe picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and sent a superb drive past the keeper to make it 3-0.

Whickham were fighting a rearguard action as the young Shields side continued to press forward, and on 55 minutes the defence was again breached as Simpson McGill ghosted in at the back post to fire in from close range for 4-0.

A minute later, completely against the run of play the visitors reduced the arrears, or Shields reduced the arrears as a back pass bobbled in front of Jack Ramage, and despite his scramble, he could not prevent the ball from crossing the line.

On the hour, Shields restored the four-goal cushion. Josh Smith floated the ball towards the back post, and Simpson McGill was on hand to head in for his second and Shields’ fifth.

A minute later, Smith almost claimed a goal for himself, but his shot was tipped over the bar by the Whickham keeper.

A minute later, again the keeper was on hand to deny Shields. Lewis Slater fired in a shot from the edge of the box and the keeper made another good save.

Slater was not to be denied a goal, though, and with 70 minutes on the clock he picked the ball up on the edge of the box and drilled the ball past the despairing dive of the keeper.

With five minutes remaining, Hogg played the ball into the path of Liam Andersen, but with the keeper beaten, his shot struck the post and the ball was cleared. However, it came straight back and Smith fired in from the edge of the box to make it 7-1.

In the closing stages of the game, the Whickham keeper again denied Shields as he capped a man of the match performance to tip the ball round the post to deny McBeth.

South Shields Football Club is delighted to announce a talk-in with Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips, which will be held next month.

The night will take place at The Mile bar, in Brigham Place, South Shields, on Thursday, December 4.

It will be a chance for football fans of all persuasions to hear from and talk to one of the most natural goalscorers the Premier League has ever seen, while there will also be an auction of football memorabilia.

Kevin established himself as a modern great at Sunderland, scoring 130 goals for the club between 1997 and 2003.

He helped the Black Cats to promotion in the 1998-99 season, and the following year won the Premier League Golden Boot with 30 goals.

That also earned him the European Golden Boot award, and he remains the only Englishman to ever win that accolade.

Kevin is known as an engaging talker, and will of course entertain the audience with tales from his years at Sunderland.

However, he will also have much more to discuss, with his playing days having only ended in May of this year when he hung up his boots after helping Leicester City to promotion. It was his fifth promotion to the top flight.

Kevin ended his playing career at the age of 40 with eight England caps to his name, and many feel he would have won many more had he not been part of the same era as the likes of Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.

As well as Sunderland, he represented the likes of Southampton, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace during his playing days.

Kevin remains actively involved in football today as Leicester’s first-team coach, and he can often be seen patrolling the touchline barking out instructions to the players.

He also can regularly be seen on TV, as he has established himself as one of the top pundits in the game.

Make sure to snap up your tickets fast for the event, as there is sure to be plenty of demand to see a footballer who gained respect from most opposition fans, as well as the love of his own clubs’ supporters.

As well as the talk-in, there will be the chance for fans to have a photo taken with Kevin, while there will be a raffle, an auction and a pie and pea supper.

South Shields FC commercial assistant Bob Wray said: “Kevin is an absolute icon with Sunderland supporters, and also gained respect from fans of most clubs during his career.

“His contribution to the game was immense, as he had a long and distinguished playing career.

“He is now trying to establish himself as a top coach and has impressed all with his punditry, so I am sure it is going to be a great night.

“It is a real pleasure for South Shields Football Club to be able to promote this evening.

“Tickets are sure to be at a premium, as there is great interest in this event, and we look forward to what should be a fantastic night.”

Tickets cost £25 each, or £220 for a table of 10.

The event will start at 7.30pm on Thursday, December 4.

To book a ticket, please call 07947 480054.