Academy on the march after seventh straight Alliance win
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.