SSFC Ladies end season with silverware
South Shields impressed as they defeated Sunderland West End 3-1 in the NERWFL Subsidiary Plate final on Thursday.
Just days after their defeat to Durham Cestria in the final of the County Cup, the Mariners bounced back to end their season with silverware and go into the summer break with a positive feeling.
They were threatening from the start against West End and almost took the lead seconds after kick-off as a trialist found space in the box and fired a shot at goal which the goalkeeper matched.
Lois Greenslade then spearheaded a brilliant Shields counter-attack. She skipped past the West End midfield and slipped in Eve Gatens, but her effort was saved.
Only seconds later, home side West End had an effort of their own. A one-two saw the striker go through on goal, but an impressive save denied her.
Shields took the lead as Greenslade did well to steal the ball high up the pitch and played in Gatens, who brilliantly turned her defender but saw her effort saved, and the trialist converted the rebound.
Greenslade and Gatens linked up again as the former drove towards the defence and played in Gatens, who fired a wonderful effort into the top corner.
Almost immediately, the Mariners hit the inside of the post from distance. Gatens struck the ball from the right corner of the box and was unlucky not to score.
Shields nearly scored the goal of the season as a lovely passing move from the back resulted in Gatens going through on goal, but her effort was brilliantly saved.
The away side did add a third from the resulting corner. Rebecca Ward whipped in a great ball and Gatens made up for the miss by burying a superb volley into the roof of the net.
West End had a great chance late in the half as a striker latched on to a fine through ball, but the effort was lofted over the bar.
They had two other opportunities, with Alex Miller’s fantastic last-ditch tackle snuffing out one of them, before eventually pulling one back after the controversial decision to sin bin Shields’ Megan Archbold.
That did little to dampen Shields’ mood as they saw out their 3-1 victory.
Head coach Scott Curtis said: “It’s a great feeling.
“Everyone put a shift in and we looked comfortable for large portions of the game.
“It’s a nice way to end the season and we’ll enjoy this, but we’re always looking to improve and we’ll be back stronger next season.”