By Daniel Prince
South Shields were beaten 3-2 by Killingworth Station on Wednesday in a friendly on one of the 3G pitches at Gateshead Stadium.
The match was arranged earlier this week after Shields’ friendly at Ashington was cancelled.
It was another important game in the Mariners’ preparations for the new season, and they started the game positively.
Just 10 minutes in, Damien Stevens gave them the lead with his second goal in two games.
David Conroy’s through ball found Stevens, and although his first effort was saved, the ball bounced straight back to him and he tapped it into the empty net.
Killingworth Station grew into the game, with Jack Foley particularly threatening.
A long-range effort from Foley before the half-hour mark flashed just over the Shields goal, but it was not long before they got their leveller.
A ball across from the right fell to Anth Burns at the back post, and he prodded in on 37 minutes.
It took Shields just three second half minutes to re-establish their lead.
Paul Robinson played the ball to Chris Locke on the right, and his cross expertly found the head of Stephen Ramsey, who glanced it beyond the goalkeeper.
The Mariners were now on top, and Craig Watson almost made it 3-1 when his low, long-range effort swerved in the air and was parried to safety.
Dean Black also saw a shot from distance palmed wide, before Station got a second equaliser against the run of play.
A defence-splitting pass found Martin Roper, and he slid it under Shields goalkeeper Alan Greening to make it 2-2.
Dave Malloy headed over for Shields a minute later, while Paul Robinson saw a later shot saved, with the rebound from a Mariners substitute sent well over the bar.
The Killingworth club got their winner two minutes from time, with Paul Dunn unleashing a superb 25-year curler which left Greening with no chance and went into the top corner.
Shields are next in action on Friday, when they travel to Horden for a 7pm kick-off.
South Shields starting line-up: Brett Wilson, Chris Locke, Aaron Burn, Jordan Fraser, Chris Feasey, Kyle Houshby, David Conroy, James Talbot, Andy Renton, Dave Malloy, Damien Stevens.
Among the substitutes used were: Alan Greening, Stephen Ramsey, Paul Robinson, James Pickering, Colin White, Craig Watson, Graham Robinson, Dean Black, Cameron Foster, Louis Jopling, Barry Marshall.