Match Report: South Shields 4-1 Pontefract Collieries
South Shields were rampant in their penultimate pre-season friendly against Pontefract Collieries on Saturday, running away 4-1 victors.
Goals from Martin Smith, Darius Osei and a brace from Dylan Mottley-Henry clinched the victory for the Mariners, who looked comfortable throughout.
Shields had the first chance of the game as Robert Briggs tried his luck from distance, but his effort was comfortably collected by Pat Boyes.
Jordan Hunter floated a dangerous cross to the back post only moments later, but Briggs couldn’t direct his header goalwards, and it ended up high and wide.
The Mariners found themselves on the front foot, and it was Smith’s turn to bring the ball forward. His effort, however, was straight at Boyes, and was held.
The early pressure paid off, as Smith found the bottom corner. Osei played a deft pass through to the oncoming midfielder, who placed his effort beyond Boyes.
It wasn’t long before Shields added a second. After numerous crosses into the six-yard box, and a few heroic blocks, the ball fell to Mottley-Henry, who smashed the ball into the net, taking no chances.
The Mariners were rampant, and the third was sealed in a matter of minutes, through Osei. Gary Liddle released the forward following a fantastic pass. Osei raced through and planted his effort beyond Boyes, giving the goalkeeper no chance.
Blair Adams almost added a fourth just before the break as he worked room for a shot, but he dragged his effort just wide of the far corner. Mackenzie Heaney also had a chance, but he couldn’t quite sort his feet out in time at the back post, and the ball rolled out for a goal kick.
Myles Boney had very little to do in the first half, but was called into action in the latter stages of the first 45. Fabian Bailey looked destined to pull one back with a header from point-blank range, but Boney managed to save with his legs, and the ball was cleared.
Boyes made an outstanding save at the start of the second half for the visitors as Hunter zipped the ball across the six-yard box and Osei smashed the ball towards the net at point-blank range, but the goalkeeper somehow got his body in the way.
Pontefract nearly brought one back as Jack Vann caught a first-time effort perfectly from distance, but his effort skimmed the crossbar and went over.
Mottley-Henry was brought down just outside of the area and Briggs stepped up for the free-kick, but his curling effort graced the top of the bar and was unlucky not to find the top corner.
Shields could have had a fourth midway through the half. Heaney found Michael Woods with a fantastic cross, but the midfielder couldn’t keep his effort down.
The Mariners did add a fourth through Mottley-Henry. He found himself in acres of space behind the opposition defence and had time to take a touch and pick his spot before firing into the net.
Pontefract pulled one back shortly afterwards as Joe Lumsdale fired a first-time effort into the far corner, following a good pull-back.
The Mariners have one pre-season game left before the season begins, as Dunston are welcomed to 1st Cloud Arena.
South Shields: Boney, Hunter, Liddle, Broadbent, Adams (c), Smith, Briggs, Woods, Heaney, Mottley-Henry, Osei.
Goals: Smith, Osei, Mottley-Henry (2).
Image: Craig McNair/ID Event Photography.