A youthful South Shields side were narrowly defeated 2-1 by Boldon CA in the Sam Bartram Cup on Friday.

Shields fielded a number of Academy players, and the game could prove to be a vital experience for them after a closely-contested affair.

The young side did take the lead early on as Ollie Cresdee found a yard of space on the edge of the area and rifled an effort into the bottom corner, giving the goalkeeper no chance.

Only moments afterwards, though, Boldon CA were on level terms. A misplaced pass by Joe Aldus allowed the home side to break, and Oscar Taylor – playing against his parent club – did well to finish.

Shields pressed for a second as they looked to bounce back. Sam Hodgson placed an effort out of the reach of the goalkeeper, but the ball was hacked off the line just in time.

Hodgson came close again only moments afterwards. A brilliant run by Cresdee opened up space for him, but the striker’s shot went narrowly wide.

Despite the Mariners’ pressure, Boldon came close to going in front when Taylor caused problems again, but this time his effort cannoned back off the post.

On the stroke of half-time, the hosts took the lead. Levi Collins placed a free-kick from a dangerous position into the bottom corner, just out of the reach of Aaron Steavens.

Chances were few and far between in the second half, but Shields had a great opportunity to equalise. James McGeorge found space inside the area but the goalkeeper made a fantastic save to keep his side in front.

The Mariners then pressed for a leveller, and Sam Porthouse nearly found it. After taking a great first touch, his effort was narrowly hit over the bar.

Boldon CA should have put the game out of sight with minutes to spare as the ball was fired across the Shields six-yard box, but the follow-up effort somehow went wide.

South Shields: Steavens, Morris, Lockey, Fletcher, Aldus, Agnew, Walker, Rossiter, Hodgson, Cresdee, Waldon. Subs: Dobson, Marriott, Taylor, Smith, McGeorge, Hills, Porthouse, Sharp, Lukeman, Armstrong.

Goal: Cresdee (8).