Academy hot shot Sam Hodgson continued his outstanding run of form with another five goals in midweek in the young Mariners’ 6-0 win over Scarborough Athletic.
Hodgson has now scored 13 goals in his last three games at Academy level after running riot in the National League Under-19 Alliance encounter at Washington Hub.
Oscar Taylor was also on the scoresheet for Shields as they kept up their hopes of winning the title.
They are fourth in the table, 13 points behind leaders Carlisle United and with three matches in hand.
As Head of Professional Development Jon Shaw insists, though, it is the performances which are most valuable.
He said: “To concede no goals in the Youth Alliance game was really pleasing and shows that our structure is good.
“We’re doing really well defensively at the moment and having people like Kieran Charlton in the side obviously helps with his first-team experience.
“George Lindo had a really positive first game on loan at Whickham in their 0-0 draw against West Auckland so he came back full of confidence.
“At the other end of the pitch Sam Hodgson scored another five goals to take him up to 29 for the season in an Academy shirt, which is an outstanding number of goals.
“I would imagine people will understand it justifies why he has a contract at the club.
“There were a lot of good performances from young players, with Olly McCully and Stewart Cooper both continuing to perform well in an Under-19s league and on a daily basis in training and games.”
The Academy squad was again split in two on Wednesday, with another Shields side winning 6-2 against Gateshead College in the ECFA Premier League as they strengthened their position at the top of the table.
Oscar Taylor notched a hat-trick for the young Mariners, whose other goals were scored by Jamie Whitehead, Tom Green and Jake Dunn.
All in all, it was another hugely productive week.
Shaw added: “It was another two good results for the Academy in both the ECFA and Youth Alliance.
“We scored six goals in each game but as always, the performances were the most important things.
“We dominated quite a lot of the game against Gateshead and the 6-2 scoreline was probably fair.
“We asked the lads for a high intensity with and without the ball, and they delivered that for the full 90 minutes.
“Gateshead caused us a few problems with the way they set up but the players adapted really well and made lots of good decisions on the ball to create chances and get ourselves in front.
“We had a sloppy five-minute spell which led to a goal for Gateshead but that seemed to wake the lads up and they went again.
“There was another hat-trick from Oscar Taylor, who is another 17-year-old growing in confidence week by week.
“We played the last 10 minutes with 10 men and still managed to score two goals with one conceded.
“The lads weren’t willing to take their foot off the gas even though they were comfortably in front and down to 10 men. Their desire to score more goals was evident.”
There is another big week ahead for the Academy, who have three games to contend with.
On Monday they make the short trip to Monkseaton High School in the ECFA Premier League while on Wednesday there is a double header against Gateshead in the National League Under-19 Alliance and Coleg Cambria in the ECFA Premier Cup.
Five different players were on the scoresheet as South Shields’ Academy side continued their impressive start to the season on Wednesday.
The young Mariners were 5-1 winners over Monkseaton High School at Temple Park as they continued their preparations for Mondays’ FA Youth Cup third qualifying round tie against Harrogate Town at Mariners Park.
Goals from Matty Williamson, Rob Ryland and Jake Dunn put Shields into a 3-0 lead and although Lewis Laidler pulled one back for Monkseaton, late strikes from Blair Rossiter and Jamie Prete sealed the Mariners’ win.
Head of Professional Development Jon Shaw was pleased with the performance.
He said: “After a really competitive start to the game we went 1-0 up before half-time, and after scoring our second and third we took control and put a good performance in against a good Monkseaton side.
“Big parts of the performance showed real signs of development and that the players are going in the right direction.
“It was a good win for us in the lead-up to the Youth Cup game.”
Shields have beaten Gateshead, Carlisle City and North Shields in their run to the third qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup.
Harrogate Town are now the only side standing in their way of a place in the main draw, with Monday’s match to kick-off at 7.30pm.
Admission prices are £3 for adults and £1 for concessions, and support would be hugely appreciated.
SSFC Academy team vs Monkseaton High School: E Hodgson, Minchella, Errington, Agnew, L Black, Dunn, Williamson, Rossiter, Ryland, Green, S Hodgson. Subs: Steavens, Stout, Prete, Cooper, Whitehead.