South Shields 3-0 Hebburn Town: Second-half blitz secures home win
South Shields scored three goals in six second half minutes as they got the better of Hebburn Town in a keenly contested South Tyneside derby on Wednesday.
The pre-season friendly was deadlocked at 0-0 at Mariners Park before Shields stepped their foot on the gas.
Carl Finnigan netted twice and a trialist scored the third as Shields registered their third victory of pre-season.
The Mariners quickly gained control of possession in the first half, but chances were hard to come by for both sides in the early stages.
Hebburn, who featured a host of former Shields players in their line-up, came the closest to breaking the deadlock when one of those ex-Mariners, Mechack Kanda, headed against the bar before blasting the rebound over.
It was a golden opportunity, and proved to be the best the Hornets created in the game.
Shields improved the longer the match progressed as they pressed their opponents back.
Much of the pressure came through forays down the left flank, with a trialist proving to be a thorn in Hebburn’s side.
He was denied by visiting goalkeeper Sam Taylor and later fizzed a low ball across the box which just evaded a touch.
The pressure continued as Robert Briggs fired into the side netting, and he turned provider for the Mariners’ best chance of the half.
Briggs’ corner from the left was greeted by the head of Dillon Morse, whose effort was cleared off the line.
It felt as though a goal was on its way but it did not arrive before half-time and the Hornets will have been satisfied to return to their dressing room with the game goalless.
That all changed as the Mariners produced a devastating six-minute spell in the second half.
Briggs saw a header saved by former Shields goalkeeper Steven Hubery early in the half before Finnigan broke the deadlock on 55 minutes.
It was a slightly fortuitous goal, with the striker’s effort taking a deflection before looping over Hubery and into the corner, but no one in claret and blue was complaining.
Finnigan was at it again two minutes later when a tremendous long-distance effort by a trialist bounced back off the crossbar to his feet and he struck it first-time into the net.
The Mariners’ win was wrapped up soon after when Hubery did enough to deny one trialist but the ball broke the way of another trialist, who kept his composure and picked out the bottom corner.
Hebburn had some opportunities to pull a goal back in the latter stages, but Liam Connell and Elliot Stephenson both made fine saves in the Shields goal, and Darren Lough produced one superb block.
The final chance of the game fell the way of Shields substitute Michael Colquhoun, but Hubery did well to keep out his effort.
The Mariners can now step up their preparations for the South Shields FC International Tournament, which begins on Friday at Mariners Park.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell (Stephenson 72), Baxter (Hunter 46), Lough, Shaw (c) (Ross 61), Morse (Bexton 46), Turnbull (Trialist 46), Richardson (Cowburn 61), Briggs (Mason 61), Finnigan (M Colquhoun 61), Wright (Trialist 46), Trialist.
Goals: Finnigan (55, 57), Trialist (59).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.