South Shields 0-2 York City: Minstermen win with brace of penalties
Two penalties by Jordan Burrow sealed a 2-0 win for York City in a closely contested pre-season friendly at Mariners Park on Tuesday.
South Shields were bright for long spells against their National League North opponents, but a spot-kick in each half ultimately proved to be their undoing.
There were plenty of positives to take from the night for joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton.
The Mariners started well and almost took the lead in the eighth minute when a fine move was concluded with an excellent pass from Nathan Lowe into the feet of David Foley, who clipped an effort not far wide.
Lowe also sent a dipping free-kick from distance narrowly over the crossbar, while Gary Brown headed wide from a Josh Gillies corner.
The hosts’ progress was punctured on 22 minutes when Dan Maguire went down under a challenge from Brown in the area and, much to the surprise of many, the referee pointed to the spot.
Burrow rolled his spot-kick into Liam Connell’s bottom left corner to hand the Minstermen the lead.
Shields recovered in the closing stages of the first half, with an Adam Thurston effort from distance deflected into the feet of York goalkeeper Pete Jameson.
They went agonisingly close to equalising seven minutes before half-time when Lowe played in David Foley down the right and he hit a shot which struck the inside of the post before bouncing to safety.
Shields were unable to build on their momentum in the early stages of the second half as York applied some pressure.
They had a huge opportunity to double their advantage when a Kieran Green cross found the head of an unmarked Burrow, but he was only able to nod the ball wide.
Connell then made an incredible one-handed stop to keep out a Burrow header from point-blank range, and an acrobatic clearance on the line by Brown ensured Shields remained just one goal behind.
That changed in the 55nd minute, though, as Burrow stroked in his second penalty of the night following a foul by Connell on Maguire.
Connell was forced into a tremendous close range save soon after as he denied Burrow a hat-trick.
Shields freshened things up midway through the second half and were given an added impetus going forward.
New signing Jason Gilchrist had already been introduced at half-time and he showed early signs of the kind of movement the Mariners hope will make him a potent force this season.
Millenic Alli and Callum Guy were also bright sparks after they were brought on, and the two combined with 14 minutes left before Guy tested Jameson with a strike from distance.
More good play by Alli led to two efforts from Foley – one which was blocked, the other went over the bar – while a free-kick from long range by Robert Briggs went not far wide.
It was another encouraging workout for the Mariners as their preparations continue for their league-opener at Radcliffe on August 17.
Their next pre-season fixture sees them travel to Guiseley on Saturday.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell (Coombe 72), Trialist (Thompson 65), Adams (c) (Charlton 69), Brown, Wokoma (Lockey 65), Turnbull (Briggs 46), Gillies (Alli 65), Lowe (Guy 69), Mason (Gilchrist 46), Thurston (Daly 46), Foley.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.