David Foley scored a goal of the season contender as he helped himself to a hat-trick in South Shields’ 4-0 Buildbase FA Trophy victory over North Ferriby United on Saturday.
Foley’s overhead kick from outside the penalty area lit up the first qualifying round tie at Mariners Park as Shields continued their outstanding home form.
Dillon Morse had given the hosts the lead in the first half as he headed in from a Josh Gillies corner, but it was to be Foley who ultimately stole the headlines.
To try it was audacious, to deliver it something else entirely.
Foley received the ball with his back to goal, flicked it up and then beat Ferriby goalkeeper Lewis Exall with an incredible overhead kick from the edge of the box.
It left many of the crowd open-mouthed, with several of Foley’s team-mates putting their hands to their head in disbelief.
The goal helped Shields to a convincing 4-0 victory in the FA Trophy first qualifying round tie as they avenged a 3-0 early-season league defeat to the same opponents.
The Mariners looked comfortable throughout, and there rarely seemed to be any danger of Ferriby repeating their August victory.
Shields had some early sighters, with Blair Adams denied by a last-ditch tackle and Morse heading wide from a corner, before the deadlock was broken on 14 minutes.
Gillies curled in a superb corner from the left and Morse towered above the defence to head in his second goal of the season.
The hosts almost doubled their lead when a flowing move saw Adams played in on the left of the box, but his effort rattled the crossbar.
Shields kept the ball alive and Exall did well to push out a shot from Craig Baxter before Gillies sent the rebound wide.
Lee Picton and Graham Fenton’s side kept up the pressure throughout the first half.
A header from Lee Mason just cleared the crossbar while Foley saw a low effort tipped wide by Exall in two of Shields’ best moments.
Exall made the save of the match on the stroke of half-time when Adams swept a low ball into the box from the left and Foley looked certain to score, only to be denied at point-blank range.
Ferriby were unable to stem the tide after the break, but Exall was proving to be a formidable man to beat.
He saved well from Foley within a minute of the restart before Mason fired the rebound over.
Foley did find a way past Exall soon after, but his shot after cutting in from the left came back off the post.
The second finally arrived thanks to Foley’s moment of magic in the 52nd minute.
Exall had kept out a Mason header seconds earlier, but he could do nothing to prevent Foley’s stunning overhead kick loop over his head and into the net.
Foley and Shields brimmed with confidence after the goal, attacking with purpose down both flanks.
Adams was at the heart of much of their bright play and he twice went close to getting on the scoresheet, seeing one shot saved from close range before firing narrowly over from distance soon after.
Goal number three came after a swift counter attack as Robert Briggs stole the ball in the centre of the park and motored through towards goal.
An interception by a defender sent the ball into the path of Foley, who dinked it over the despairing Exall to put the result beyond any doubt.
Mason missed a glorious chance to make it four when he headed a Ben Harmison cross wide, but Shields did not have to wait too much longer to find the net again.
New signing Nathan Lowe saw a low shot saved but Foley was on hand to sweep in the rebound and complete his hat-trick.
Foley and Briggs each went close to adding a fifth but Shields had long since wrapped up their place in the second qualifying round.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Baxter, Adams, Shaw (c) (Lough 72), Morse, Turnbull, Lowe, Briggs, Mason (Guy 77), Gillies (Harmison 63), Foley. Subs not used: Brown, Mouanda.
Goals: Morse (14), Foley (52, 66, 75).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.