Heaton Stannington 2-0 South Shields
By Daniel Prince
South Shields fell to a fourth straight defeat after a Jonathan Wright double secured Heaton Stannington a 2-0 win.
The match was a replay of the fixture that was abandoned in February, when Shields were leading 2-0 in the 60th minute.
However, the Mariners were unable to produce a similar performance, and lacked a goal threat at Grounsell Park.
Wright was the difference between the two teams, and he fired an early warning shot within the first minute when he drew a good save from Jak Wells at his near post.
Both sides enjoyed a decent opening going forward, with Luke Richardson slicing wide for Shields and Colin White volleying wide after a recycled throw-in.
However, Wright was always dangerous at the other end, and went close to putting the home side 1-0 up in the fifth minute when he sent Kevin Carr’s cross just past the post.
Before long, though, Wright did break the deadlock.
The goal came in the 19th minute, with Wright capitalising on a slip from White to slot past Wells at his near post.
Elliot Cutts had an effort at goal for Shields five minutes later, but his shot ballooned over the crossbar and led to a period of pressure at the other end.
Ben Riding did well to block an effort from Lawrence McKenna, while a long-range effort from Carr went just wide of the goal.
Cutts sent a free-kick from 30 yards wide, but Heaton Stannington doubled their lead six minutes before half-time to give the Mariners a mountain to climb.
Ben Clarey was adjudged to have fouled McKenna in the box, and Wright stepped up to rifle the penalty into the bottom right corner for his 37th goal of the season.
Shields ended the first half in better fashion, and White was inches away from getting them back into the game when, after getting in on the left, he sent his effort just wide and into the side netting.
The Mariners had two penalty appeals waved away in the space of a few seconds before the break, but they went in at half-time two goals behind and with much work to do against a side who were looking to consolidate their fifth position in Northern League Division Two.
Jon King’s side fared better in the second half, and restricted the home side’s opportunities.
McKenna almost scored their third on 48 minutes, though, when he nodded Lee Johnson’s long throw just wide after getting there ahead of Wells.
Wright continued to cause problems, and after using his pace to get beyond the Shields defence on the left, fired a shot across goal that was close to finding the target.
A cross-shot from the striker on 54 minutes led to Wells tipping the ball onto the crossbar, but after that the game evened out, with few opportunities.
The home side should have made it three 10 minutes from the end, but lively substitute Anthony Johnson’s backheel to Kieran Weekes was not rewarded, with the No.11 dragging his shot wide when free just inside the box.
Shields, who remain in 16th place in Northern League Division Two, are next in action on Thursday, when they travel to Whickham for another league fixture.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Wells, Clarey (Davidson 72), Feasey, White, Riding, Locke (Greenwell 84), Richardson, Cutts, Ramsey (c), Burnell, Logan (Berhan 67). Subs not used: Di Lella, Danquah.