The club can confirm the departures of Adam Thurston and Robinson Wokoma by mutual consent.

Adam, who joined the club in the summer, has been provided with an offer to return to New Zealand.

He sees it is a fantastic life opportunity which he is unable to turn down and he departs the club with our thanks and well wishes for the future.

The midfielder made 23 appearances during his time at Mariners Park, scoring twice.

Wokoma’s spell with the Mariners has also come to an end.

After it became clear that the club could not provide the defender with the amount of first-team game time he requires, the decision was made by both parties to go their separate ways.

We would also like to thank Robinson for his efforts during his time at the club.

Both players were a credit to themselves and the club over the last six months and we wish them every success moving forwards in football and in life.

South Shields midfielders Adam Thurston and Luke Daly went back to school this week as the club’s charitable arm continued to make a difference in the community.

Adam and Luke joined the Head of SSFC Foundation, Steve Camm, at St Oswald’s RC Primary School in South Shields to offer all pupils at the school an opportunity to enjoy a matchday experience at Mariners Park.

The children will be our guests at the much-anticipated derby match against Morpeth Town on Saturday, November 30, with a selection of them set to be flag bearers ahead of the game.

The players dropped into a school assembly to deliver the news before fielding questions from eager pupils for more than half an hour.

The schools initiative kicked off last November and has been a huge success over the last 12 months.

We have visited 32 schools and spoken to over 5,000 children, almost 1,500 of whom have already enjoyed a matchday experience at Mariners Park.

Last year we particularly focused on those in Years 5 and 6 – or the Class of 23, as we dubbed them.

The success of last season’s initiative prompted us to extend the project this time around, with players now speaking to entire schools and offering every pupil the opportunity to watch a game.

Steve Camm has been at every one of those school visits, and is delighted with how the initiative has been received.

He said: “I remember the first school we visited, Westoe Crown, very well because we went in with Blair Adams, Dan Wright and Ursene Mouanda and weren’t sure what to expect.

“We asked the children if any of them had a question and all 180 of them put their hand up.

“From that point we thought it was definitely something we wanted to be involved in, and it has been a great success so far.

“The excitement and welcome we’ve received in each of the schools has been absolutely amazing.

“The questions asked, from five-year-olds up to 11-year-olds, have been brilliant and it has been a pleasure to be in the schools.

“Every school has met our challenge to ask us a question we haven’t been asked before and the players always enjoy visiting and giving something back to the community.

“I must also mention the behaviour of the children, which has been exemplary everywhere we’ve been.”

Last season, a selection of children at each of the schools visited were also invited to The Word, in South Shields town centre, to write and record match reports based on their experiences.

We are working on providing something similar for the pupils this season as the initiative continues to go from strength to strength.

We look forward to welcoming pupils from St Oswald’s to Mariners Park on November 30 and hope they enjoy their experience.

Jason Gilchrist scored two and set up another as South Shields booked their place in the third qualifying round of the Buildbase FA Trophy with a comfortable 4-0 victory over AFC Rushden and Diamonds.

Gilchrist was joined on the scoresheet by Adam Thurston and Lee Mason on a day which ensured the Mariners would at least equal their best run in the competition since reforming in 1974.

They can now look forward to the draw for the next round on Monday as they bid to secure a spot in the first round for the first time.

Shields’ performance was as convincing as the result at Mariners Park on Saturday, despite a bright opening by the Diamonds.

The home side created the first half-chance of the tie as they opened up their visitors within the first 40 seconds before Blair Adams’ shot was blocked.

Myles Boney was called into action in the opening five minutes as the Diamonds were twice unable to make the most of openings, with efforts from Liam Dolman and Ben Farrell lacking the strength to seriously test the goalkeeper.

Shields soon hit their stride and pressed the away team relentlessly, repeatedly reaping the rewards.

They almost opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Gilchrist was played in on the left of the box and pulled a great ball across the area for strike partner Sanmi Odelusi, but he slid an effort wide on the stretch.

The Mariners were relentless in their pursuit of the first goal and after Diamonds goalkeeper Ben Heath saved a drive from Odelusi, he made an even better stop from Gilchrist, who had been found following some great play from Odelusi and Thurston on the left of the area.

The attacks kept coming and another fine chance came and went as Thurston struck an effort from distance which was parried by Heath to the onrushing Jordan Hunter, who powered the ball over the bar.

After failing to score in their previous game against Lancaster City despite a positive performance, Shields must have been wondering if it would prove to be another one of those days.

However, their fears were allayed in the 22nd minute as Gilchrist fired them ahead in ruthless style.

A Robert Briggs corner from the right evaded everyone and fell to the feet of the striker just inside the area on the left. He slammed a shot through a sea of bodies and into the bottom corner to break the deadlock with a superb finish.

Shields thought they were set to net number two in their next attack as Gilchrist teed up Adams, whose excellent run was not rewarded as Heath made an impressive save from close range.

The second goal did arrive before the half-hour mark after some terrific work from Nathan Lowe and Thurston in the centre of the park.

Lowe beat his man with a brilliant turn 10 yards inside the Diamonds half and glided forward before spotting the run of Thurston, who ghosted in between the defenders and slotted the ball home as he met his team-mate’s pass first time.

The visitors threatened to half the deficit seven minutes into the second half as Ben Acquaye fired goalwards from distance but Boney was equal to his effort and Shields countered at pace, with Lowe having a goalbound shot blocked at the end of it.

The Mariners made it three halfway through the second period thanks to a hugely impressive piece of individual play from Gilchrist as he drove forward from just inside the Diamonds half, jinked past a defender and picked out the bottom corner from the edge of the box to double his tally for the afternoon.

Gilchrist turned provider for the final goal as he won the ball brilliantly on the right flank, forced his way into the area and put it on a plate for substitute Mason to score from close range.

It capped a fine afternoon’s work for the Mariners as they secured their place in the next round.

Their next outing will see them travel to Stafford Rangers in the BetVictor Northern Premier Division next Saturday.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Boney, Hunter, Adams, Turnbull, Morse, Brown (Wokoma 68), Thurston, Briggs (c) (Baxter 66), Gilchrist, Lowe, Odelusi (Mason 58). Subs not used: Coombe, Charlton, Jenkins, Hodgson.

Goals: Gilchrist (22, 67), Thurston (29), Mason (89).

Attendance: 934.

WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.