Chester-le-Street Town 0 VS 6 South Shields
South Shields produced an excellent team performance as they hit Chester-le-Street Town for six to move further up the early Northern League Division One table.
The Mariners were dominant in every department, and secured three welcome points with goals from Jon Shaw (2), Carl Finnigan, David Palmer, Danny Carson and Robert Briggs.
Shields were up against a side which was promoted with them from Northern League Division Two last season, and quickly gained control of the game.
David Foley hit a low shot wide and Shaw saw a header saved by home goalkeeper Jack Wilson in the early stages.
Jon King's side suffered a blow when Foley was forced off with an injury in the eighth minute, but he was replaced by Finnigan, who made a terrific impact on his debut for the club.
Within six minutes of his introduction, the former Falkirk, Gateshead and Township Rollers forward went agonisingly close when he struck a powerful effort which hit the crossbar and narrowly bounced the wrong side of the line, according to the officials.
Louis Storey headed a Palmer cross wide soon after, but Shields did not have to wait too long for their opener.
The impressive Danny Carson picked up the ball on the left flank, and he floated a superb delivery into the box which Shaw met with a trademark header as he got in front of his marker to nod home.
The Mariners had almost exclusive possession of the ball, and Finnigan had two opportunities before Shaw added a second on 36 minutes.
It arrived thanks to some terrific work by Palmer as he drove forward from the left and then slotted a ball through for Barrie Smith, whose low cross from the right was turned in by Shaw.
Within a minute, it was 3-0, with Danny Carson spraying a ball over the top which Finnigan latched on to, and he brought it under control before superbly dinking it over the goalkeeper.
By that time, it was threatening to become a rout, with Shields in ruthless form.
Four minutes before half-time, Chester-le-Street gave it away at the back and Julio Arca latched onto it, taking it around the goalkeeper before pulling the ball back for Palmer, who made no mistake as he slotted it into the bottom corner for the latest goal.
Smith and debutant Ben Clark - who was assured and dominant at the back - both had chances before the break, and Shields picked up where they left off in the second half.
Eventually, they were rewarded with goal number five when substitute Warren Byrne hit an effort against the post, and Danny Carson gratefully rifled in the rebound to claim a deserved goal.
Substitute Briggs got in on the act with 11 minutes remaining as he hit an impressive left-foot shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box after some good one-touch play.
A morale-boosting and entertaining victory had long since been secured, and Shields will look to build on their performance when they travel to Penrith on Monday for a 2pm kick-off.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Carmichael, Smith, Arca (Byrne 62), Storey, Clark, Danny Carson, David Carson (Briggs 51), Scroggins (c), Shaw, Palmer, Foley (Finnigan 8). Subs not used: Elliott, Baxter.
Goals: Shaw (17, 36), Finnigan (37), Palmer (41), Danny Carson (71), Briggs (79).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.