South Shields came from a goal down to beat Horden CW 4-1 with an impressive display on Friday.
The Mariners started brightly, but fell behind in the first half against the run of play.
On 10 minutes, a Horden cross into the box led to a mix-up between Chris Locke and goalkeeper Brett Wilson, and the defender headed it into his own net.
Shields continued to look the better of the two teams, though, with Jordan Fraser and Damien Stevens both having decent opportunities.
Stephen Ramsey had a great chance just before the half-hour mark, but his effort was saved and Horden kept their lead.
In the 31st minute, though, Shields drew level.
Stevens kept up his impressive pre-season scoring record by slotting a penalty home after a foul in the box, and that sent the Mariners in even at the break.
David Conroy and Ben Riding both threatened the Horden goal in the opening minutes of the second half, and on 53 minutes Shields had the lead they deserved.
Kyle Houshby’s corner was headed in by defender Riding, while the Mariners almost doubled their lead soon after.
Ramsey was sent through on goal and denied by the goalkeeper, who could only parry into the path of Riding. However, his shot went wide.
Before the hour, though, it was 3-1 to Shields, with Riding again on the scoresheet.
He unleashed a powerful effort from distance which arrowed into the corner, and at that point, the Mariners looked comfortable.
Horden did begin to threaten after that, but Shields continued to have the better chances, with first Ramsey denied and then Riding missing a glorious chance to seal his hat-trick, hitting the post.
Dean Black added a fourth for the Mariners with the last kick of the game as Shields’ preparations for the new season got another boost.
South Shields team: Wilson, Locke, Fraser, Riding, Burn, B Smith, Heckles, Conroy, Renton, Ramsey, Stevens.
Substitutes included: Houshby, Malloy, Black.
Tonight’s friendly against Horden CW will now take place in Durham, at Maiden Castle.
Kick-off is at 7pm.
To get to the ground, follow the A1(M) and turn off at Bowburn.
Go through Bowburn and Shincliffe, and arrive at Maiden Castle Sports Centre. The postcode is EH1 3SE.
Meanwhile, the friendly against West Auckland Town on Saturday, July 26, has been cancelled.
In its place is an away fixture against Easington Colliery at 3pm on the same day.