South Shields Reserves made it four Wearside League wins out of six on Monday with an impressive 3-2 victory over Sunderland West End.
The Mariners had to show plenty of battling qualities at the Harton and Westoe Miners’ Welfare Ground after twice falling behind, with a superb second half response sealing the three points.
The first half was more difficult for Shields, with West End starting brightly.
Mariners goalkeeper Curtis Richardson did well to keep out an early effort from David Keithley, while at the other end, James Wilson’s long-range strike was kept out.
The visitors took the lead on 25 minutes when a through ball found Kieron Martin on the inside-right of the box, and he slotted it home.
However, Shields did not let their heads drop, and equalised immediately from the kick-off as Matthew Davidson squeezed a pass through for Olly Martin, who rolled the ball back and beat his man with some great skill before placing the ball beyond the goalkeeper.
The hosts were unable to build on that, and within two minutes West End were back in front again when a deflected shot from Jordan Cook looped in the air and bounced in.
They could have gone further ahead before half-time, but Richardson in the Shields goal did brilliantly to keep out efforts from Kyle Young and Martin.
Davidson almost restored parity three minutes before half-time, with Jonny Bainbridge spraying a ball out wide and Martin delivering the cross, but he hit his effort just over.
In the second half, Shields started well, and they were level on 57 minutes when Davidson beat his man on the right and delivered an inch-perfect cross which Nathan Sinclair headed in at the back post.
Both sides had chances after that, with Young for West End and Davidson for Shields going close, but it was the home team who took the lead for the first time on 66 minutes.
This time Jack Donaghy was the supplier as his low cross from the right was bundled into the net by Harry Simpson.
Ewan Simpson had an opportunity to wrap up the three points, but hit an effort over, while West End were reduced to 10 men late on when Martin deliberately stamped on Davidson.
The Mariners held on for another three impressive points as they moved up to fourth in the Wearside League.
They are again in action at the Harton and Westoe Miners’ Welfare Ground, against Harton and Westoe, on Wednesday, with kick-off at 6.30pm.
SOUTH SHIELDS RESERVES: Richardson, Bainbridge, Sinclair, H Simpson, E Simpson, Marsden, Martin (Dixon 73), Crutwell (c), Donaghy (Hope 80), Davidson, Wilson (Whelan 46). Subs not used: Brown, Hudson.
Goals: Martin (26), Sinclair (57), H Simpson (66).
Warren Byrne and David Palmer were among the goals as South Shields Reserves made it two Wearside League victories in a row with a 4-0 win over Seaham Red Star Reserves on Monday.
Both players got a full 90 minutes under their belts at Harton and Westoe Miners’ Welfare Ground, with Byrne scoring twice and Palmer once, while Olly Martin was also on the scoresheet.
It is now two wins from their opening three league fixtures for Shields, following on from last week’s impressive 2-1 triumph at Cleator Moor Celtic.
They were superb at times against Seaham, and early chances fell the way of Byrne and Dominic Soulsby, who were both denied.
Joss Carmichael, another first-team player getting game-time for the reserves, made a good save after that from Michael Bulmer to keep Shields level, with the Seaham forward hitting the rebound into the side netting.
Shields always looked the likelier to open the scoring, and visiting goalkeeper Shay Adamson had to make an excellent low save from Byrne to prevent them doing that.
On 23 minutes, though, the Mariners went ahead as Ewan Simpson’s fine cross from the left was finished off by Byrne at the back post.
Palmer’s goal 10 minutes later was similar, with Byrne playing the ball to Matthew Davidson on the inside-left of the box before he crossed into the centre, where Palmer had a tap-in.
Byrne and Palmer both hit efforts wide in the closing stages of the first half, and in the second half, Shields continued their dominance.
They were rewarded with a third goal when the ball broke to Martin in the area, and he made no mistake as he slotted it past Adamson.
Both sides had good opportunities in the closing stages, with Byrne denied twice for the Mariners, as was substitute Jonny Hope, while at the other end, Wesley Smith dinked a shot just over.
Byrne completed the scoring with his second of the night three minutes before the end when he latched onto a header forward by Ryan Bolam before rolling the ball into the bottom corner.
The reserves are in action again on Wednesday against Harton and Westoe, with kick-off at the Harton and Westoe Miners’ Welfare Ground at 6.30pm. Admission is £2.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Carmichael, Whelan, Sinclair (Marsden 82), Crutwell (c), Simpson, Tonge, Palmer, Davidson, Byrne, Martin (Hope 82), Soulsby (Bolam 69). Subs not used: Richardson, Cossar.
Goals: Byrne (23, 87), Palmer (33), Martin (57).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.