Dominant South Shields eased into the next round of the Durham Challenge Cup with a resounding 5-0 win over Crook Town at Mariners Park.
In front of a strong midweek crowd of 349, doubles from Warren Byrne and Ben Riding, and a goal from Jonny Wightman, sealed the comfortable victory.
Daryll Hall went close early on as Ryan Graham palmed his header behind, and Shields kept up the pressure from there.
Byrne opened the scoring on 11 minutes when the superb Adam Sakr ran down the right flank before delivering a terrific delivery which the striker headed in at the back post.
Robert Briggs went close soon after when his teasing free-kick just evaded everyone, while a tremendous low cross from Michael Turner went begging, with no player there to tap it in.
Riding made it two in the 23rd minute when Wightman’s corner was headed to him 10 yards out, and he swivelled before volleying into the bottom corner.
Sakr went agonisingly close to making it three when he tried to slide in a Turner cross, but just avoided contact with the ball, while Briggs curled a fantastic shot just wide from 20 yards and later played in Byrne, who fired inches past the post.
Riding notched his second as he stayed up field following a set piece, and then slid in an impressive low delivery from Sakr.
Crook’s first opportunity fell to Dean Sinclair eight minutes before the break, but he was just unable to head in a dangerous left-wing cross.
Shields continued their dominance in the second half in front of the watching Julio Arca, who was ineligible for the tie.
Wightman made it 4-0 eight minutes after the break when a Graham parry broke to him inside the box on the left and he tapped the ball home.
Briggs – who did just about everything but score – struck the bar on the hour mark, not long after hitting a shot narrowly wide, while at the other end Mariners goalkeeper Scott Pocklington was called into action for the first time as he saved from Joe Grant.
Byrne got Shields’ fifth on 66 minutes as he latched onto a pass from substitute Dean Thexton before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting home.
Wightman and Thexton later sent efforts just wide, and Byrne almost scored his hat-trick, but his powerful shot was tipped over.
Thexton was twice denied towards the end as he was denied a deserved goal, but Shields had done enough to seal a convincing win ahead of Saturday’s league trip to Brandon United.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Pocklington, Smith, Turner, Hall, Riding, Chapim (Heptinstall 68), Briggs (Thexton 64), Scroggins (c), Byrne, Wightman, Sakr. Subs not used: Young, Ramsey, Phillips.
Goals: Byrne (11, 66), Riding (23, 31), Wightman (53).