South Shields showed their strength with a red-hot second half display as they defeated Northern League title favourites Ashington 4-1 at Woodhorn Lane.

The game was goalless at half-time as both teams battled sweltering conditions on the hottest day of the year, but the Mariners turned on the style after the break.

Joao Gomes opened the scoring six minutes into the second half and Shields cantered to victory from there, with Sam Hodgson adding a blockbuster of a goal from distance before Darius Osei and Dylan Mottley-Henry added their names to the scoresheet.

Former Shields player Ben Harmison pulled one back for Ashington in stoppage time with a header.

There were few clear-cut opportunities in the first half as the teams adapted to the heat. Will Jenkins flashed a shot wide from distance and Kyle Hayes batted away a powerful drive from a tight angle by Ntumba Massanka while at the other end, Myles Boney saved low from Dan Maguire.

The Mariners almost took the lead in some style moments before the break when Will Jenkins won the ball high up the pitch and a terrific left foot effort by Hodgson rattled the crossbar.

Kevin Phillips’ side offered more of a threat as the first half progressed and that pattern continued after the interval, with an added clinical edge.

The first goal arrived on 51 minutes as captain Blair Adams was released down the left and he slid a ball across the box which Gomes stretched to prod in.

A second goal quickly arrived as Hodgson let fly from 25 yards out on the right and his left foot bullet kissed the inside of the post before nestling in the net as the forward notched for the fourth time in pre-season.

Hodgson almost added another on the hour mark as he headed a superb Jenkins cross towards the opposite post but could only watch the ball drop agonisingly wide of it.

Shields made eight changes just afterwards but that did little to affect their rhythm.

One of those brought on, Darius Osei, scored the Mariners’ third with 16 minutes left, moments after being denied by Hayes. Josh Doherty was the provider with a terrific delivery from the left and Osei got in front of his marker to ram the ball home.

The Mariners went close several times to making it four, with Mottley-Henry seeing a low drive tipped wide by Hayes, who also saved from Mackenzie Heaney as Shields’ relentless attacking continued.

They went closer still when Heaney zipped a ball across the face of goal which Mottley-Henry and Osei were just unable to convert, but the fourth they had been threatening did come on 88 minutes.

Will McGowan threaded a brilliant pass through to Mottley-Henry and his clinical finish added further gloss to the scoreline.

Michael Woods had a powerful volley brilliantly saved by Hayes as the game ticked into stoppage time but it was Ashington who would have the final say, with Harmison heading in from a corner.

Shields play their fifth match of pre-season on Saturday as they welcome Scarborough Athletic to 1st Cloud Arena.

South Shields: Boney, Hunter (Doherty 61), Bodenham (Marriott 61), Liddle (Bodenham 75), Doherty (Adams 32), Jenkins (Mottley-Henry 61), McGeorge (Smith 61), Gomes (McGowan 61), Massanka (Heaney 61), Briggs (Woods 61), Hodgson (Osei 61).

Goals: Gomes (51), Hodgson (56), Osei (74), Mottley-Henry (88).

Image: Craig McNair / ID Event Photography.

South Shields will reach the halfway mark in their pre-season games programme after Tuesday’s fixture away to Ashington.

The Mariners have taken plenty of positives from their three outings so far, against Berwick Rangers, Blyth Spartans and Barrow.

They are now aiming to make further progress against an Ashington side which is among the favourites to win the Northern League title this season.

The Colliers, formed in 1883, finished eighth last time out but have bolstered their squad during the summer and include former Shields players Lee Mason, Darren Lough and Ben Harmison among their ranks, as well as Blyth Spartans favourites Robbie Dale and Dan Maguire, and goalkeeper Kyle Hayes, who won promotion with Consett last season.

Ashington are managed by Ian Skinner and have won three of their four pre-season games so far, scoring 13 goals in the process.

Their Woodhorn Lane ground holds fond memories for Mariners supporters. It was the venue the club sealed the Northern League title in 2017 with a 4-1 victory.

Team news

The game is expected to come too soon for Callum Ross (knee), Dillon Morse (groin) and JJ Hooper (hamstring).

Information for supporters

Kick-off at Woodhorn Lane – which has a post code of NE63 9FW – is at 7.30pm.

Admission is £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and students, and £1 for under-16s. Supporters can pay at the turnstiles or secure a ticket in advance by clicking here.

Due to expected high temperatures, Ashington are to offer free bottled water on entry to the ground tonight while stocks last.

Image: Ian Kelsey.

The club is pleased to announce seven pre-season friendly matches in preparation for the 2022-23 campaign.

Kevin Phillips and his coaches and players will begin pre-season training before kicking off their fixture programme with a trip to the Scottish border to take on Lowland League side Berwick Rangers on Saturday, July 9th.

Next up will be League Two opposition at 1st Cloud Arena, with Barrow to visit South Tyneside for the club’s first home friendly on Saturday, July 16th.

The Mariners will also take on several North East neighbours during pre-season, the first of which will involve a visit to Northern League outfit Ashington on Tuesday, July 19th.

Scarborough Athletic provide the next opponents, with the National League North new boys to travel to 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday, July 23rd.

Pitching In Northern Premier League East side Hebburn Town will host Shields on Tuesday, July 26th before the Mariners come up against another high-flying team from that division, Shildon, at home four days later.

The club hopes to announce a further pre-season fixture on Tuesday, August 2nd before completing their set of friendlies with a home match against Dunston on Saturday, August 6th.

Tickets and admission details for all of the above games will be confirmed in the weeks ahead.

The new league season is due to kick-off on Saturday, August 13th.

Here is a recap of the confirmed pre-season fixtures to date:

Saturday, July 9th: Berwick Rangers (A), 2pm kick-off

Saturday, July 16th: Barrow (H), TBC kick-off time

Tuesday, July 19th: Ashington (A), 7.30pm kick-off

Saturday, July 23rd: Scarborough Athletic (H), 3pm kick-off

Tuesday, July 26th: Hebburn Town (A), 7pm kick-off

Saturday, July 30th: Shildon (H), 3pm kick-off

Saturday, August 6th: Dunston (H), 3pm kick-off