South Shields continued their match in the National League Under-19 Alliance with a narrow win over Halifax Town on Wednesday.
The match, which was played at the home of Wallsend Boys Club, was settled by a goal from David Allasan in the first half.
It was a hard-fought encounter as Halifax gave as good as they got in the second half, particularly, but they were unable to beat Shields goalkeeper Jacob Bramley as the young Mariners sealed their seventh consecutive victory in the competition.
The win left the J Shipley & Co Heating Ltd-sponsored young Mariners third in the table, one point behind second-placed Gateshead with three games in hand.
Leaders Guiseley hold an eight point lead on Shields, but have played two more matches.
Joint manager Graham Fenton is delighted with the form of the youngsters, particularly the way they have adapted to playing an identical system to that played by the first-team over recent months.
He said: “The lads are doing well.
“Over the last two or three months, they have adapted well to playing the same shape as the first-team.
“That will have knock-on benefits if and when players get opportunities with the first-team.
“They will have a better understanding of their role within the team and what it entails.
“They have generally done very well with understanding the system and what is expected of them.”
Fenton was satisfied with the performance against Halifax.
He added: “We dominated the first half possession-wise and through the first two-thirds of the pitch, we were very good.
“We were a little bit wasteful in the final third because if we had turned some of the decent situations we had into clear-cut chances, we could have scored a few more before half-time.
“Fair play to Halifax, because in the second half they came back into it and caused a few problems, without making Jacob do much.
“The second half was more even but on the overall balance of play, we thoroughly deserved to win.
“One real bit of quality won us the game, with a good bit of movement and finish from David Allasan.
“We were limited to options due to a lot of injuries and illnesses, so it was a really pleasing result all things considered.”
SSFC Academy team against Halifax: Bramley, Biwer, Lockey, Thompson, Patterson, Onarbay, Black, Guy, Allasan, Cowburn, McCamley. Subs: Errington, Croft, Elcoate, Jenkins, Colquhoun.
Supporters are being invited to take part in an overnight sleepout for good causes at Mariners Park.
Funds will be raised for three charities at the event on Saturday, February 9.
South Shields captain Jon Shaw is among to those to have already committed to taking part, as have some members of the club’s staff, and the club is asking supporters and members of the community to come forward to participate, too.
Sponsorship forms can be downloaded by clicking here, with donations to be split evenly between Changing Lives, Hospitality and Hope and North East Athletic.
Shaw, who took part in the club’s last sleepout two years ago, said: “I see the sleepout as an important opportunity to experience and raise awareness of homelessness and hopefully help it in anyway we can.
“I did it for one night at the last sleepout and it’s so hard to do, and that’s only for one night.
“There are people who go through it every night.
“People are often homeless for reasons we don’t expect and there are a lot more going through this than we know.
“Any help, whether it be joining us on the sleepout or a small financial contribution, will help.
“Thank you for your support.”
Changing Lives is a national charity based in the North East that has been supporting vulnerable people for over 45 years.
Hospitality and Hope is a South Shields-based organisation, which helps those in need, including the homeless. It operates a soup kitchen and food bank in the borough.
North East Athletic has been established for nine years and uses football to engage with those with drug and alcohol issues or in housing need, and operates mainly through the support of members who have established stable lives, families and other football clubs and players. All money raised for the club goes directly into pitch hire and transport for players.
Donations for the sleepout event can be made in person at Mariners Park or through a participant.
A trip to Northern League Division One leaders Dunston UTS awaits South Shields in the semi-final of the Durham Challenge Cup.
The tie will be played on Tuesday, February 26 at the UTS Stadium, with kick-off at 7.30pm.
It promises to be a stern test for the Mariners against a Dunston side which defeated Gateshead 2-1 in the quarter-final of the competition on Wednesday.
The two clubs have not met since a 3-1 Northern League win for Shields at Mariners Park in November 2016.
The Mariners’ last trip to Dunston saw them emerge 4-2 winners a month earlier.
Dunston have enjoyed a tremendous season so far, having reached the fourth qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup, when they were beaten by Gateshead.
In the league, they currently hold a one-point lead over Bishop Auckland and Consett, and have two games in hand.