Jarrow Roofing 4-2 South Shields
By Daniel Prince
South Shields were beaten 4-2 in the South Tyneside derby by Jarrow Roofing as Anth Myers struck a hat-trick for the promotion hopefuls.
Jon King’s Mariners fought until the end, but ultimately had too much to do against the Roofers, who had gone in 2-0 up at the break.
Second half goals from Anthony Burnell and Elliot Cutts gave Shields hope, but Roofing always held the advantage and completed their victory by scoring with the last action of the game.
They took the lead just four minutes in, and at that stage it looked like it could be a long night for the Mariners.
Jamie Marshall and Andy Appleby combined on the right, before the latter’s ball in found Myers lurking just inside the box.
The midfielder curled the ball into the opposite top corner with a sweet strike, and he proved a constant threat to the Shields defence.
King’s men twice went close on eight minutes to equalising, with Michael Charlton’s long-range half volley going wide before Alex Berhan’s effort was caught by Andy Hunter in the Roofing goal.
Marshall shot just wide for the home side soon after, before they doubled their lead in the 23rd minute.
Marshall again caused problems down the right flank, and after he had beaten two defenders, his deep cross found Shaun Heads at the back post.
His shot was parried by Jak Wells, who also saved an initial effort by Myers, but the latter picked himself up to rifle the rebound into the roof of the net.
Charlton was looking to be Shields’ best player, and went close to getting one back three minutes later when his effort from the edge of the box was deflected wide.
Chris Locke did well to block Liam McBryde’s effort at the other end, but Shields were creating chances of their own.
Charlton sent another effort from range just wide, before his cross from the right was nodded past the post by Stephen Ramsey.
Luke Richardson’s corner on 34 minutes came straight back off the post, and that was as close as either side came to scoring again before the half-time whistle blew.
Shields came out for the second half with renewed vigour, and were rewarded almost immediately from the restart.
Chris Feasey knocked down a cross from the left, which allowed Burnell to swivel and shoot first time into the top corner to reduce the deficit.
The Mariners almost levelled on 48 minutes when Cutts’ long-range piledriver was deflected just wide, but the home side soon restored their two-goal advantage.
Ian Davison’s free-kick from the right evaded everyone and found Appleby, who looped the ball over Wells from close range.
Wells was left disappointed after he dived too early, and was almost beaten again in the 55th minute when Myers drove one just wide.
Roofing were soon putting their visitors under intense pressure, with David Stephen Halliday blocking Marshall’s drive and Wells also denying the Roofing man, who had been put through on goal after a ball over the top.
On 69 minutes, Wells did well to parry McBryde’s shot, and Appleby headed the rebound wide, while Wells again denied McBryde with a fantastic save three minutes later.
Shields were surviving wave after wave of Roofing attacks, and were again indebted to Wells 16 minutes from the end when he stopped McBryde’s powerful shot with his feet.
Against the run of play, though, the Mariners grabbed a lifeline.
Davison was penalised for handball in the box, and Cutts sent his penalty into the bottom right corner with nine minutes left to make it 3-2.
However, Shields were unable to conjure up an equaliser, and almost conceded a fourth with three minutes left.
Myers found some room on the edge of the box, but sent his effort over the bar and his chances of a hat-trick appeared over.
However, he was not to be denied, and in the fourth minute of stoppage time scored a comical goal.
His header hit the bar and it appeared the ball had gone behind the ball, with both teams setting up for a goal-kick and the referee doing likewise.
However, Myers was convinced Wells had tipped the ball into the net, and when the Shields keeper retrieved the ball, it had in fact gone into the back of the net with hardly anyone in the ground realising.
The Mariners fought valiantly throughout, but ultimately could have been beaten by more if not for Wells’ saves.
Shields return to action tomorrow (Wednesday) when they travel to Northallerton Town.