Defender Chris Hunter has completed a permanent move to West Auckland Town for an undisclosed fee.

Hunter joined the Mariners from Darlington in the summer and went on to make five competitive appearances for the club.

His only goal for Shields came in a 4-1 defeat at Farsley Celtic in August.

The right-back joined Northern League side West Auckland on loan last month, and that move has now been made permanent.

Everyone at the club would like to wish Chris well for the future. He and his family will always be welcome at Mariners Park.

South Shields defender Chris Hunter has joined Northern League side West Auckland Town on loan for a month.

Hunter signed for the Mariners from Darlington in the summer after almost a year out with damaged ankle ligaments.

He has been restricted to five competitive appearances so far and the move to West Auckland gives him a chance to regain match sharpness ahead of his return to Mariners Park.

Shields joint manager Graham Fenton said: “Chris was out of action for almost a year, and we feel that getting him out for six or seven games will be massively beneficial for us in the long-term.

“We’re looking forward to following his progress over the next month before he returns.”

Nine-man South Shields paid for two minutes of first half ill-discipline as they suffered their first defeat of the season on Tuesday.

The Mariners were beaten 4-1 by Farsley Celtic after two red cards within the opening 25 minutes.

Those players who remained on the pitch gave it all they had as they aimed to deliver Shields an unlikely result, but they ultimately had too much to do.

Farsley struck four times in the second half and, despite a goal from Chris Hunter, there was to be no reprieve for the away side.

The early stages suggested an even game lay in store, with Shields edging things.

Gavin Cogdon dragged an early effort wide after lay-off from Dan Wright and Gary Brown turned a Josh Gillies corner over the bar.

The first key moment came on 23 minutes as Brown won the ball on the left flank but caught his opponent with his follow-through in an incident reminiscent of Jamie Vardy’s red card for Leicester City on Saturday. The referee gave Brown his marching orders.

Carl Finnigan followed him into the dressing room less than two minutes later after he was also shown a straight red card for a late challenge on the right.

Shields had it all to do and a backs to the wall effort ensued.

Goalkeeper Liam Connell was in the thick of the action, saving from Lewis Turner and Jack Higgins before half-time, while Dillon Morse produced an outstanding block and Turner hit the crossbar.

Shields’ resistance continued into the second half until Nathan Cartman headed Farsley into a 58th minute lead from a Turner cross.

The hosts kept up the pressure and Connell did well to keep them at bay before conceding a second, with James Spencer looping in a header from a Walker corner.

Shields threatened an unlikely late comeback when a Gillies corner dropped to substitute Hunter and he hammered the ball into the roof of the net with nine minutes left.

Farsley were quickly on the attack again, though, and added two late goals through brothers Chris and Ben Atkinson as the scoreline was given a one-sided look.

The Mariners will aim to bounce back on Saturday when they host Stafford Rangers.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Baxter, Adams (Pattison 65), Turnbull, Morse, Brown, Wright (Hunter 72), Mouanda, Cogdon (Lough 24), Finnigan, Gillies. Subs not used: Pearson, Mason.

Goal: Hunter (81).

Red cards: Brown (23), Finnigan (25).

Attendance: 350.

WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.