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).
Jon Shaw scored his first goal in a South Shields shirt as the Mariners continued their pre-season preparations with a 2-2 draw at Bedlington Terriers on Tuesday.
After falling behind early on, Shields got themselves into a winning position, but the hosts hit back in the second half as things ended all square.
With the game coming just 48 hours after the Raydale Cup final defeat to Queen of the South, 10 changes were made to the Shields line-up, with four trialists included from the start.
Early on, it looked like they could be in for a tough evening against a Bedlington side which will be looking to bounce back to Northern League Division One next season after being relegated last time out.
The Terriers took the lead on 11 minutes as a pass to the inside-right of the box split the Shields defence, and Jon Wright fired low into the net.
The Mariners responded immediately, and were level soon after when a trialist slotted a ball through to Shaw, who made no mistake from the inside-left of the box, hitting it low across goal and in.
From then, Shields looked more comfortable as they started to dominate possession.
Shaw headed wide after a fine cross from the right, while Ben Riding almost gave his side the lead when his shot squirmed under the home goalkeeper, who managed to bring the ball back under control as it trickled towards the line.
Shields’ spell of pressure was rewarded 13 minutes before half-time when Riding sent a tremendous ball over the top for one of the trialists, who controlled it well before sending in a low shot which had too much for the goalkeeper.
Two minutes before the break, the visitors went agonisingly close to extending their lead, but this time another trialist rattled an effort against the crossbar.
A number of changes were made in the second half, and the home side drew level on the hour mark after capitalising on a mix-up at the back.
Bedlington were improved at this stage, and almost went ahead when a flowing move led to a shot being smashed against the bar.
Both teams had chances in the closing stages, but the closest either came to claiming a winner was when substitutes Robert Briggs and Stephen Ramsey combined for Shields, with the latter hitting an effort off the post.
The Mariners will be back in action on Saturday, when they travel to Whitby Town for a 3pm kick-off.
A 49-seat coach is going to the game, which will include the Shields players and management. There are places available for supporters, costing £15 each, and they can be bought by calling 0191 454 7800 or visiting Mariners Park.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Trialist, Trialist (Galpin 55), Riding (Storey 63), Carson (Baxter 71), Morse (Trialist 53), Trialist (Wade 57), Trialist (Ramsey 77), Scroggins (c) (Briggs 57), Shaw (Byrne 71), Trialist (Teasdale 61), Phillips.
Goals: Shaw (14), Trialist (32).
South Shields Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of striker Jon Shaw.
The 32-year-old arrives at Mariners Park having departed National League side Gateshead at the end of last season.
Jon has spent most of his career in the National League, representing Gateshead over three spells, as well as clubs including Burton Albion, Halifax Town, Mansfield Town and Luton Town.
The Sheffield-born frontman started his career with Wednesday, but truly found his feet as a professional with Burton before prolific spells with Halifax and Gateshead.
In the 2011-12 campaign, he struck 35 times in all competitions for the Tynesiders, with whom he was a fans’ favourite.
Jon is now looking ahead to a new challenge at Mariners Park having weighed up his options over the summer.
He said: “There’s a massive project going on here and I want to be a part of that.
“It’s in the Northern League for now, but we’re hoping that might only be for eight months, maybe.
“I want to be a part of the next three, four, five years hopefully, seeing where South Shields go.
“A few clubs were interested in signing me, including a couple in slightly higher leagues, but there weren’t many that were close by and giving me the kind of opportunity I’ll get here.
“I could have stayed slightly higher, and I believe I could still play at that level, but coming to South Shields at this time of my career is good for me as well.
“I’m moving into coaching, as everybody knows, my wife is at university and I’ve got two young boys.
“I’m going to be able to stay at home with them, be able to be a dad and a husband for those, as well as being able to enjoy my football hopefully for the next few years.”
However, his hunger for the game is as strong as ever.
He added: “A physiotherapist said to me a few years ago, ‘you’ve got a body made for part-time’.
“I’m a little bit 100 miles an hour, and like to give it everything I’ve got every time I’m on a football pitch or training pitch.
“Sometimes that has worked against me, because I’ve had a few little muscle injuries here and there.
“My hunger is to play. I want to play for not just the next two or three years.
“I said to the chairman that I’d love to still be playing at 40 years old. That’s a genuine thing.
“I want to play for as long as I possibly can, so being part-time is hopefully going to give me that opportunity.”
Jon has also represented his country, having played six times for England C.
However, one experience which has eluded him so far is the chance to play at Wembley.
That is something he hopes to put right with the Mariners as they try to launch a challenge on all fronts next season.
He added: “Playing at Wembley is something I’ve just missed out on. I’ve been at a few clubs who I’ve joined just after they’ve been.
“Just the opportunity to play at Wembley is a big thing.
“With the success the North East has had in the FA Vase, it’s something that I really want to do.
“I want to experience Wembley and I want to win at Wembley.
“The Northern League is a tough league, too. I’ve seen it first-hand, I know a lot of lads who play in it and it’s not going to be easy.
“With the players we’ve got, though, we’ve got to look at winning the league.”
Jon will be available to make his debut for Shields next Saturday, against Ayr United in the Raydale Cup.
*You can watch Jon and his Shields team-mates in all 21 Northern League Division One home games next season by purchasing a season ticket. To book, please call 0191 454 7800.*