South Shields turned in another eye-catching performance as they saw off Northern League Division One rivals Seaham Red Star 4-2 in their latest pre-season friendly.
The Mariners have now scored 10 goals in their last two games as they home in on the new season.
Four different goalscorers were on the scoresheet for Shields at Seaham Town Park in a game they always seemed in control of.
They picked up where they left off in Monday’s 6-0 rout at Hebburn Town, and almost took the lead within two minutes, with a Craig Baxter cross finding its way to David Foley at the back post, but his effort was saved.
Foley drove an effort not far over before Shields took the lead with nine minutes on the clock when their trialist forward controlled the ball, turned and hit a low shot into the bottom corner.
The Mariners switched off momentarily after going ahead, and almost surrendered the lead when they gifted Seaham possession in a dangerous area, but Lee Hetherington was denied by an impressive save.
Foley was a thorn in Red Star’s side throughout his time on the pitch, and he was kept off the scoresheet on 13 minutes by another save from home goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook.
He came even closer moments later when his audacious chip from the right beat Newbrook, clipped the bar and bounced down near the goal-line. Jon Shaw accepted the rebound and stroked it home, but the offside flag went up.
Shields did not have to wait too much longer for goal number two, and it arrived when the ball was played back to Shaw inside the box, and he showed great composure before smashing it home.
Paul Gardiner fired a warning to the Mariners that Seaham remained dangerous as he arrowed a shot over, while Shields went close to extending their lead when Shaw had an effort saved.
The hosts pulled a goal back when Gardiner drove forward again, and this time rifled a shot into the roof of the net.
For a short time, the Mariners did look troubled, and they were fortunate to avoid conceding an equaliser when Liam McBryde flashed a header wide.
However, they soon regained control, and the two-goal lead was restored following another impressive move, which was finished when Foley unselfishly pulled the ball across goal for David Palmer to net against his former club.
At half-time, Shields made six substitutions, and it took some time for the match to settle back into a rhythm.
They clicked back into gear, though, with some superb possession football, and a fourth goal arrived when Julio Arca threaded a pass through the middle for Foley, who beat two defenders before dinking the ball over Newbrook.
Seaham were denied a second goal soon after, with Nicky Kane denied by an impressive stop, while at the other end, a superb double save by Newbrook kept out shots from Stephen Ramsey and Foley.
A superb free-kick by Hetherington from 20 yards handed the home side another goal, but by then the outcome of the match had already been all but decided.
There was no route back into the game for Red Star as Shields closed out a 4-2 victory.
They have just two more friendlies remaining this summer, with the first of those at Crook Town on Tuesday.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Trialist, Baxter (Carson 73), Turner (Scroggins 78), Carson (Riding 46), Storey (Morse 46), Briggs (Wade 46), Palmer, Scroggins (c) (Arca 46), Shaw (Ramsey 46), Trialist (Trialist 46), Foley (Briggs 78).
Goals: Trialist (9), Shaw (24), Palmer (43), Foley (63).
New signing David Palmer has expressed his excitement after joining South Shields from Seaham Red Star.
The midfielder has opted to sign for his hometown club after scoring 18 times in Ebac Northern League Division One last season – 12 for Seaham and six for Bishop Auckland.
In the video above, he discusses his move to Mariners Park, and why he has “had an eye on” the club for some time.
He also talks about why he leaves Red Star with a heavy heart, and how Shields’ fans left an impression on him when he played against the Mariners for Bishop Auckland in last season’s FA Vase.
VIDEO: Daniel Prince. STILL IMAGE: Peter Talbot.
David Palmer has agreed to become South Shields’ first summer signing as the Mariners prepare for life in Ebac Northern League Division One.
The midfielder has joined his hometown club from Seaham Red Star, who he helped to an impressive ninth-placed finish in their first season since winning promotion to Division One last time out.
The 26-year-old, who is most adept in the centre of midfield or on the right, also had a spell at Bishop Auckland in the first half of last season, and played in Shields’ 2-1 win there in the FA Vase last October.
He says he is “over the moon” about the move to Mariners Park.
Palmer said: “What is happening here at the moment is really big, so to be a part of it is going to be good. I’m over the moon.
“For it to be my hometown club is a bonus as well. Being from just around the corner, it’s ideal.
“Everywhere you go, people seem to be talking about the club.
“All of my friends and family were constantly asking if I’d be joining Shields as well, and with everyone talking about it, I had to go for it.
“This is a club that is going places, and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”
Palmer is known as a goalscoring midfielder, and scored 18 goals in Division One last season – 12 for Seaham and six for Bishops.
In 2014-15, meanwhile, he was a key part of the Seaham side which stormed to the Division Two title, scoring 20 league goals in the process.
He has also played in the Northern League with Jarrow Roofing, and now can’t wait for a new challenge with Shields.
Palmer added: “The club wants to progress and everyone is talking about that. Being a part of that would be great.
“If I can score goals and help the club achieve that, I’ll be very happy.
“I leave Seaham with a heavy heart, because I’ve loved my time there, but this felt like the right move to make and it seemed like the right time to move on.”
Welcome to the club, David, and we wish you all the very best for your time at Mariners Park.
You can watch David and his new Shields team-mates in every Division One game at Mariners Park next season by securing a season ticket. They cost £99 for adults, £70 for concessions and £25 for under-16s, and can be bought by calling 0191 454 7800.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.