Hyde United 0-0 South Shields

South Shields recorded their third successive clean sheet at the start of the season as they drew 0-0 with Hyde United in the Pitching In Northern Premier League.

Chances were few and far between at Ewen Fields but the Mariners remained solid at the back to continue their positive start to the campaign.

Shields’ start to the game offered a glimpse into the quality just waiting to burst through.

The Mariners kept the ball superbly and looked in mean mood, with their hosts unable to gain a foothold as the Mariners probed.

Their strong opening was halted when they were forced into a 20th minute change, with Blair Adams withdrawn due to a dead leg and Craig Baxter his replacement.

That seemed to knock Shields off their stride, although last-ditch tackles were all that denied Josh Gillies and Nathan Lowe clear strikes at goal as they searched for a breakthrough.

The elusive first shot of the game arrived on 33 minutes, with Gillies drifting inside from the left before curling an effort which did not threaten to trouble home goalkeeper Joe Green.

At the other end, Hyde’s first sight of goal was a 20 yard free-kick by Paddy Lane which comfortably cleared the crossbar.

A goal did appear a more likely prospect at this stage and Shields almost provided it with six minutes remaining in the first half.

Jordan Hunter bravely nicked the ball ahead of a defender in the penalty area and with space opening up for him, opted to pull it back to Gillies rather than shoot. Gillies’ first-time effort lacked the power required to beat Green as the goalkeeper made a low save.

Robert Briggs also had a half-chance just before the break when Darius Osei teed him up on the edge of the box, but he sliced his shot wide.

Hyde showed an improved threat going forward in the second half although the start to the half suggested Shields were the likelier to score, with Hunter again breaking free down the right before firing a ball across which had just too much on it for Jason Gilchrist.

Lane was Hyde’s biggest threat and he sent a low shot wide from the right before a dangerous free-kick from the same player was crucially headed over his own bar by Shaw.

There were few clear-cut opportunities at either end as the second half progressed, although both sides had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the closing stages.

In truth, a penalty or set-piece would have been the most likely route to goal the longer the game went and in the end, a point apiece was a fair result at Ewen Fields.

Shields are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Ashton United in the league, before an FA Cup trip to the same opponents four days later.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Boney, Hunter, Adams (Baxter 20), Shaw (c), Morse, Ross, Gillies (Verstraaten 82), Briggs, Gilchrist, Lowe, Osei (Mason 79). Subs not used: Jenkins, McCamley.

Attendance: 587.