South Shields Academy continued their 100% start to life in the National League Under-19 Alliance with a 4-0 victory at FC United of Manchester on Wednesday.
The young Mariners scored four times in a superb second half display to beat an FC United team which had started the season with two wins out of three.
They had to show patience for the breakthrough, but the introduction of four substitutes in the second half made a difference as Shields got on top.
Michael Colquhoun maintained his excellent goalscoring form by breaking the deadlock on 63 minutes, and substitute Dan McGuire made it two.
Colquhoun netted again with eight minutes remaining to make the points safe, and another substitute, Karl Ross, wrapped it up in the 90th minute.
Joint manager Lee Picton was delighted with the response of the players in the second half.
He said: “The first half wasn’t brilliant from our perspective, when we looked like we felt the journey in our legs.
“We made four substitutions in the second half and all of those brought on really made a positive impact on the game.
“The reaction of the whole team in the second half was absolutely top class.
“They played some really good stuff, and we feel like we made some good progress in this game.”
Despite the comfortable win, the young Mariners were knocked off the top of the league by Guiseley, who have also won all of their games so far.
They defeated Harrogate Town 15-0 to move ahead of Shields by two goals on goal difference. Halifax Town are three points back, in third.
SSFC ACADEMY: Jacob Bramley, Matty Parker, Olly Scott, Ethan Biwer, Jordan Patterson, Nathan Convery, Will McCamley, Dan Lowther, Michael Colquhoun, Callum Guy, Bailey Judson. Subs: Karl Ross, Dan McGuire, Callum Carney, Josh Tait.
Goals: M Colquhoun (63, 82), McGuire (71), Ross (90).