South Shields eased into the first round of the FA Vase with a 4-0 success at Esh Winning.
The Mariners enjoyed complete domination against their Northern League Division Two opponents, and goals from Robert Briggs and Leepaul Scroggins handed them a half-time lead.
After the break, Ewan Simpson and Gavin Cogdon scored the goals to secure Shields’ passage into the next round, the draw for which will take place on Monday.
Shields handed debuts to Liam Connell and Luke Hannant at West Terrace, while 18-year-old Simpson started for the first time after being called up from the Mariners’ reserve side.
Stephen Ramsey was also in from the start as he made his 300th appearance for the club.
With Esh defending with real determination, Shields struggled to break through in the opening exchanges.
Dillon Morse headed wide from a corner, while Briggs curled a free-kick not far over and David Palmer was denied by a good save from home goalkeeper Mark Hodgson.
Shields played the resulting corner short, and this time Palmer saw his effort cleared off the line.
On the left flank, Simpson and Hannant – who joined on a dual-registration deal with Gateshead on Friday – linked up well, and the latter was the next to be denied by Hodgson.
He could do nothing to prevent the Mariners opening the scoring on 34 minutes, though.
Some good one-touch play on the right eventually led to Barrie Smith playing Briggs through, and he dinked the ball over the goalkeeper to score his fifth goal in his last four starts.
The second goal arrived four minutes before the break, with Hannant retrieving an overhit ball from the right before clipping in a superb low cross which captain Scroggins converted.
Briggs looked destined to make it three on the stroke of half-time, but his shot hit the leg of a defender.
Carl Finnigan replaced the injured Ramsey at half-time, and the Mariners could have gone three up quickly, with David Carson hitting over from a good position after a corner was played short.
Simpson was the next to run at the home defence as he brought the ball inside from the left, and when he released Palmer, he looked sure to score.
However, after beating his man by cutting inside, he could only fire over.
Finnigan was also off target before Simpson deservedly got on the scoresheet to mark his man of the match display.
Hannant burst down the right and delivered a superb cross to the back post, and Simpson headed it across goal and into the bottom corner.
Briggs and Finnigan were both denied by blocks on the line, while Hodgson made a stunning point-blank save from Palmer as the hosts succeeded in keeping the score down.
Shields introduced Cogdon from the bench just before the hour mark, and he got in on the act soon after.
Simpson carried the ball inside from the left and then played in the striker, who drilled low into the net before celebrating with his trademark handstand.
Cogdon almost scored a goal of the season contender soon after when he spotted the goalkeeper off his line from 40 yards and smashed an incredible effort which struck both posts before bouncing to safety.
Palmer and Cogdon both failed to add to the scoring from decent opportunities in the closing stages, but Shields settled for a 4-0 victory as they got their FA Vase campaign started.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Smith, Simpson, David Carson, Morse, Shaw (Riding 72), Palmer, Scroggins (c) (Cogdon 59), Ramsey (Finnigan 46), Briggs, Hannant. Subs not used: Carmichael, Phillips.
Goals: Briggs (34), Scroggins (41), Simpson (54), Cogdon (76).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.