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Tadcaster Albion 0-0 South Shields: Mariners draw penultimate friendly

Tadcaster Albion and South Shields could not be separated as they played out a pre-season goalless draw at a sun-drenched i2i Stadium on Saturday.

Both sides had good spells in what was a hard-fought friendly, but ultimately could not find a way through.

Shields are now left with one pre-season friendly to play before they kick-off their Evo-Stik Premier Division campaign with a home game against Witton Albion on Saturday, August 18.

As they did twice last season in the Evo-Stik North Division, Taddy provided a stern test for the Mariners in the North Yorkshire sunshine.

Billy Whitehouse and Lamin Colley were among those who caught the eye as they kept Shields’ back-line under pressure.

Whitehouse had the first real opportunity of the game in the ninth minute when he received the ball on the inside-right of the box before firing an effort which was deflected onto the roof of the net.

The Mariners gained control as the half progressed, and sent a warning to their hosts when Darren Lough’s low ball from the left was lifted not far over by Matty Pattison.

Shields went close again soon after when Blair Adams beat his man on the left before coming inside and shooting over.

Lee Picton and Graham Fenton’s side’s best spell of the match came midway through the first half.

They almost opened the scoring when a teasing free-kick from the left by Josh Gillies clipped the head of a defender before bouncing just wide.

The resulting corner from Pattison was headed against the bar by Dillon Morse as Shields continued to put Tadcaster under pressure.

Goalkeeper Michael Ingham came to the hosts’ rescue on the half-hour mark when he tipped a header by Adams wide after a pinpoint cross from Gillies.

Colley volleyed a decent chance wide for Tadcaster in what was a rare first half chance for the hosts, and Gillies went close at the other end when his sweet volley from a Lough cross went not far wide.

The second half saw Taddy improve, and Casey Stewart had their first effort as he cut inside from the left before forcing a decent save from Shields’ trialist goalkeeper.

Morse had another opportunity at the other end as he headed narrowly past the post from an Adams corner, but Tadcaster remained a threat, as they proved when Whitehouse fired another effort which Shields’ trialist did well to save.

Whitehouse went even closer soon after when he came in from the left and struck the foot of the post with a powerful shot.

Opportunities were harder to come by in the second half for the Mariners, although substitute Lee Mason did force a save out of Ingham when he met an Adams cross with his head.

Things started to open up in the final five minutes, with Tadcaster left wondering how they did not score when Mitch Langton fired a low ball across the area which Colley was just unable to turn home.

At the other end, Lough hit an effort low and wide from the edge of the box and a further chance came and went when Adams got in behind on the left before hitting the ball across the face of goal, with Cogdon just unable to get a decisive touch.

Shields complete their pre-season programme with a trip to Cleethorpes Town next Saturday.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Trialist, Baxter (Hunter 61), Lough, Shaw (c), Morse, Turnbull (Ross 79), Gillies (Briggs 46), Wright (Cogdon 61), Finnigan, Pattison (Mason 46), Adams.

WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.