Robert Briggs won five awards at the sold-out SSFC end of season presentation evening at Mariners Park on Saturday.
A crowd of close to 200 packed into the marquee to recognise the efforts of the squad throughout the 2018-19 campaign and enjoy a night of entertainment, provided by compere Phil Hourigan and comedian Josh Daniels.
The first award handed out was the Top Goalscorer prize, which was won by Briggs, who netted 19 times in all competitions during the season. The award was kindly sponsored by Durastic.
Next up was the Young Player of the Year award, with SSFC Academy graduate Callum Guy claiming the prize after breaking into the first-team squad on several occasions during the season and helping the Academy win its first national trophy. The award was sponsored by KCH Engineering.
Briggs also won the Supporters’ Player of the Year award, voted for by fans in an online poll. Briggs took 39% of the votes, with Lee Mason second on 15% and Craig Baxter third on 9%. The award was sponsored by Rob S Gas Services.
The Goal of the Season – again voted for by supporters in an online vote – was David Foley’s stunning overhead kick from outside the penalty area against North Ferriby United in the FA Trophy. The award was sponsored by the Lakeside Inn.
Briggs’ third award was the prize for Players’ Player of the Year, as voted for by the players themselves. The award was sponsored by S Davison (Electrical) Ltd.
The Player of the Year award – as voted for by club committee members, board members and staff – went to Blair Adams. The award was sponsored by TGS Industrial Supplies.
The SSFC Supporters’ Alliance Player of the Year award went to Briggs, and was presented to him by Alliance chairman Geordie Pearce.
The Simonside Branch Player of the Year was also Briggs, who was presented with his award by Simonside Branch committee member Jon Hardy.
The club would like to thank all of those who sponsored an award or who supported the event through their attendance.
Pictures by Kev Wilson.
South Shields qualified for the final of the Durham Challenge Cup for the second time in three seasons with a 3-1 win at Northern League leaders Dunston UTS on Tuesday.
The Mariners established control from the outset and took a two-goal lead with strikes from Nathan Lowe and Robert Briggs.
Jake Stafford pulled one back for the hosts on the stroke of half-time and Dunston performed better in the second half, but a penalty from Robert Briggs late on sealed Shields’ passage into the final.
They will meet Shildon in the final after their 2-0 victory at Hartlepool United.
Shields were backed by a large and vociferous support at Dunston, and enjoyed a fine opening to the game.
It was Dunston who went closest early on, though, when Liam Connell was forced into a decent save after Michael Pearson was played in.
Lowe saw plenty of possession in the early stages and was rewarded for his bright start when he belted the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
Dunston had two chances to pull level soon after, but a Pearson volley was deflected just over and Connell comfortably kept out an Andrew Grant-Soulsby header.
The Mariners were impressive going forward and almost made it two when Ben Harmison laid the ball off for Luke Daly and he smacked an effort against the post.
Shields scored their second just before half-time when Harmison chased what seemed a lost cause, cleanly won the ball and played it to Foley, who hammered it home from the edge of the box.
Foley almost made it a quickfire double when he was played in after some fine one-touch football, but he was denied by an incredible last-ditch block.
He had a further shot deflected into the side netting before Dunston pulled a goal back on 45 minutes when Stafford had an effort saved before turning in the rebound.
The Mariners were less impressive at the start of the second half and would have conceded an equaliser had Daly not cleared a Pearson header off the line.
Connor Bell turned in a superb performance on his first start for Shields but was kept off the scoresheet, with his best chance seeing him fire narrowly over.
Harmison and Darren Lough both went close to restoring the Mariners’ two-goal lead before Briggs was presented with a golden opportunity to do just that after Foley was fouled in the area.
Briggs buried his spot-kick into the corner of the net to end any lingering doubts about Shields’ victory.
They will be looking for another win on Saturday when they host Buxton in the league.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Mouanda, Adams, Lowe (Turnbull 76), Morse (Bexton 54), Lough, Foley (Mason 86), Briggs (c), Harmison, Daly, Bell. Subs not used: Baxter, Guy.
Goals: Lowe (8), Foley (29), Briggs (pen 83).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.
South Shields returned to winning ways as a polished away performance steered them to a 2-0 victory at Bamber Bridge on Saturday.
The game was lit up by a stunning 45-yard strike from Robert Briggs in the first half, a goal which put the Mariners 2-0 ahead after David Foley had opened the scoring.
Shields saw the match out effectively in the second half to end a run of three without a win and reignite their hopes of winning promotion from the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
They looked bright and confident from the first whistle, enjoying a good deal of possession before taking the lead in the 11th minute.
A Blair Adams effort from outside the box was deflected into the path of Lee Mason on the left of the area and he squared it for Foley to tap home from close range.
Brig almost provided an immediate response when striker Matthew Dudley let fly with a free-kick from distance, but Shields goalkeeper Liam Connell got two strong hands on the ball to push it over.
Then came Briggs’ moment of inspiration.
Adams pressured home goalkeeper Lloyd Rigby into a hurried clearance which he miscued to the feet of the midfielder, who was inside the centre circle.
Briggs hit a tremendous half-volley first time which left the despairing Rigby with no chance as it arrowed into the bottom corner to double the Mariners’ advantage.
That gave the visitors a good cushion but they were mindful of the fact they had squandered a two-goal lead against the same opponents a fortnight earlier and could ill afford a repeat.
They set about making the points safe in the remainder of the first half and almost did so when Mason was played in on the left of the box before firing narrowly wide.
Bamber Bridge could have pulled one back before half-time when a superb cross from Callum Spooner was flicked on to Chris Marlow, who prodded the ball wide.
Shields went straight down the other end and, after some terrific work near the halfway line from the impressive and industrious Luke Daly, Foley sprinted through before having a shot tipped wide.
Brig started the second half well but were unable to test Connell, and the closest they came was when a cross from the right was bundled past his own post by Dillon Morse.
Connor Bell was introduced just after the hour mark for his Shields debut and he was lively throughout.
He almost opened his account just five minutes after coming on when Daly picked him out with a brilliant cross, but the striker headed wide.
Daly was at the heart of much of the Mariners’ best attacking play, and went close to getting on the scoresheet towards the end as he produced a fine turn before forcing a fingertip save from Rigby.
Rigby also denied Briggs as the game ticked into stoppage time as the Shields midfielder let fly with another half volley which would have added to his collection of fine goals.
Lee Picton and Graham Fenton’s side saw stoppage time out to earn an important three points on a day which saw table-topping Farsley Celtic lose and second-placed Warrington Town draw.
They take a short break from league action on Tuesday when they travel to Dunston UTS in the semi-final of the Durham Challenge Cup.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Baxter, Adams, Shaw (c), Morse, Turnbull, Lowe (Mouanda 80), Briggs, Mason (Bell 63), Daly, Foley (Cogdon 74). Subs not used: Lough, Harmison.
Goals: Foley (11), Briggs (17).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.