South Shields’ bid to retain the Durham Challenge Cup got underway with a convincing 4-0 win over Jarrow Roofing at Mariners Park on Tuesday.
The Mariners were dominant for much of the game against their Northern League opponents, but could only convert their possession and chances into one goal before half-time, with Carl Finnigan slotting home a penalty.
Three goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half put the first round tie to bed, with Jamie Holmes, Michael Richardson and Luke Sullivan all on the scoresheet as Shields turned the screw.
The South Tyneside derby was played in front of a superb crowd of 1,332 at Mariners Park, and the supporters were kept entertained by some flowing football from Shields.
They were in the ascendancy from the start, and should have taken the lead when a low cross from Holmes found Sullivan at the back post, but he somehow fired wide from close range.
Roofing goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook later parried an effort from the edge of the box by Richardson and picked himself up to brilliantly turn the rebound from Finnigan over the bar.
The Mariners kept up the pressure, and were rewarded when Newbrook fouled Finnigan in the area and the referee awarded a penalty.
Finnigan picked himself up and made no mistake from the spot as he found the corner of the net.
The hosts’ dominance continued as the Roofers struggled to keep them at bay.
Andrew Stephenson, Finnigan and Holmes all came close to extending their lead before the break.
Shields had made eight changes from the team which won 3-2 at Mossley on Saturday, but it didn’t show, and their possession was rewarded early in the second half.
They went two goals up when Richardson pulled a corner short to Finnigan, whose low effort was turned in by Holmes from close range.
Two became three as Sullivan beat the defence with a ball down the right to Richardson, who shifted it onto his left foot and buried an effort into the bottom corner.
The Mariners were rampant now, and added a fourth in the 55th minute. The impressive Louis Storey turned a ball through for Finnigan, and his pass across the box was finished well by Sullivan.
It looked at that stage that Roofing might be on the end of a hammering, and those suspicions intensified when Dennis Knight was shown a straight red card for appearing to hit out at Finnigan.
Despite continuing to dominate, though, the Mariners did not score again.
The closest they came was when an effort from Sullivan deflected against Shaun Vipond and then struck the post.
It was a good night’s work for the Mariners, who now prepare to step back into FA Trophy action on Saturday with a trip to Farsley Celtic.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Norton, Nicholson, Callaghan, Lough, Morse (Baxter 69), Storey, Richardson, Stephenson, Sullivan, Finnigan (c) (Smith 69), Holmes. Subs not used: Shaw, Briggs, Cogdon.
Goals: Finnigan (pen 20), Holmes (47), Richardson (51), Sullivan (55).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.