Dan Lowther scored both goals as the SSFC Academy continued their excellent start to the season with a 2-0 win at Maltby Main on Wednesday.
Lowther struck twice before half-time as the midfielder made it four goals in two games – and extended the young Mariners’ 100% start to the campaign.
This was their first away trip in the National League Under-19 Alliance as they took on Maltby Main at their Sheffield Hallam University base.
Shields had to overcome a testing playing surface to emerge with the points, and follow up their 9-0 opening day victory over Rochdale, and 10-0 FA Youth Cup win against Chester-le-Street Town.
From the start, though, they demonstrated that they were the stronger team, creating a number of chances from the first whistle.
The deadlock was broken after half an hour as Lowther beat the goalkeeper with a controlled lob.
Five minutes before half-time, a well-worked set-piece routine led to Shields’ second. The ball was pulled back from a corner to Lowther on the edge of the box, and he struck it into the corner of the net.
Lowther also scored twice in the win over Rochdale a fortnight ago, but the 19-year-old was ineligible in the FA Youth Cup due to age limits.
Shields continued to create plenty of chances in the second half, but the surface played a part in a number of moves breaking down at the critical moment.
It was still a comfortable win, though, and joint manager Lee Picton praised the players afterwards.
He said: “We’re pleased with the result, as well as the attitude and performance.
“The players really had to adapt and adapt quickly.
“They showed a completely different side to their game on a surface which is about as different to what we’re used to at Mariners Park as you could get.
“It was a really good experience for their development, because they’re not going to play on a perfect surface every week and will have to deal with challenges like this.”
SSFC ACADEMY: Dan Lister, Matty Parker, Oliver Scott, Dan Lowther, Jordan Patterson, Ryan Colquhoun, Will McCamley, Ethan Biwer, Joe Hassanin, Callum Guy, Bailey Judson. Subs: Thomas Kavanagh, Luke Ridley, Daniel McGuire, Michael Colquhoun.
Goals: Lowther (x2).
Tickets for South Shields’ Emirates FA Cup third qualifying round tie against York City are now on general sale.
Supporters who would like to be at the game on Saturday are advised to buy a ticket, as there will be no cash turnstile if the tickets available sell out.
The match promises to be one of the biggest in recent times at Mariners Park as National League North outfit York come to town.
Tickets went on sale to season ticket holders and sponsors on Monday, before being opened up to members on Tuesday and then put on general sale at 9am on Wednesday. Sales are going well.
Tickets cost £8 for adults, £6 for students and over-65s and £2 for under-16s, and can be bought from Mariners Park or by calling 0191 454 7800. Supporters who are buying over the phone are advised to be patient as there is just one phone line for ticket sales. The club will get through everyone as quickly as possible.
The ground will be open between 9am and 9pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for those looking to buy tickets.
Now that the tickets are on general sale, there is no limit to the amount an individual can purchase.
Wristbands to watch the game from the balcony at Mariners Park, meanwhile, have sold out.
There will be segregation in force at the match – with more details on this to be confirmed later this week – and York City supporters are able to buy tickets from their club.
The club will be working with local police to ensure all supporters have an enjoyable day.
Thank you for the magnificent support.
IMAGE: Peter Talbot.