South Shields 1-3 Queen of the South: Mariners runners-up in Raydale Cup
South Shields were beaten 3-1 by Scottish Championship side Queen of the South in the final of the Raydale Cup as a positive weekend in Gretna drew to a close.
Shields beat another professional Scottish second tier side, Ayr United, 2-0 on Saturday in the semi-final, but found Queens a tougher nut to crack.
The Scots were 2-0 ahead inside eight minutes, and although Shields improved from there and matched their opponents for much of the match, they were unable to get back into it.
A fine strike from Gavin Cogdon did get Shields on the scoresheet, though, as the forward got off the mark for the club.
In the early stages, the Mariners were overwhelmed as Queens raced out of the blocks. The young and vibrant Scottish side had mostly sat out of Saturday’s semi-final.
Within seven minutes, they were ahead, with Kyle Jacobs heading a cross from the right into the bottom corner.
And they did not have to wait long for goal number two, which arrived within moments when Lynden Dykes was sent through on goal before rounding the goalkeeper and forcing the ball home.
It was always going to be a tough ask for Shields from there, particularly after most of the starting line-up had also played 24 hours earlier.
However, they grew into the game, and it was closer than the final scoreline of 3-1 may have suggested.
They almost responded within five minutes of falling two behind, with Michael Turner seeing a header from a corner cleared off the line, and Matthew Wade also hammering a shot which was saved by the chest of a defender in front of goal.
David Palmer also controversially went into the book as strong penalty appeals were waved away, before he curled an effort over as Shields began to impress again.
David Foley was the next to go close as he hit a half-volley narrowly over, and he also sent one not far wide of the target soon after.
Queen of the South were dangerous, too, and twice went close to going three ahead before half-time, with Shields’ trialist goalkeeper doing well to tip over a free-kick from Mark Millar before Scott Hooper headed a glorious chance over the bar.
The Mariners made four changes at half-time, and one of those introduced, Stephen Ramsey, went close to grabbing their first goal of the game within four minutes of being brought on, only to see his shot trickle just wide.
Shields were hit by a sucker punch at the other end, with a trialist midfielder producing a fine finish from the edge of the box for Queens to make it 3-0.
That did not deter Jon King’s side, though, and Cogdon deservedly got them on the scoresheet when he picked his spot from just outside the box and found the bottom corner with a fine finish.
As the half progressed, Craig Baxter slammed a shot just over, while Louis Storey and Danny Carson also went close, but Shields were unable to get to within a goal of the Scots as they lifted the trophy.
The Mariners will be back in action on Tuesday, when they travel to Bedlington Terriers for a friendly. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Trialist, Baxter, Turner (Trialist 59), Morse (Carson 46), Trialist (Riding 46), Arca (c) (Galpin 59), Palmer, Wade (Storey 46), Teasdale (Ramsey 46), Cogdon (Byrne 59), Foley.
Goal: Cogdon (54).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGES: Mick Sharp.