South Shields Academy kept up their hopes of winning Group C of the ECFA Premier League with a 3-1 win at Queen Ethelburga’s College on Thursday.
The victory set up a title showdown with Tyne Metropolitan College on Monday, with the winners set to be crowned league champions. Should it end in a draw, Monkseaton High School will win the league.
Shields were made to wait for their latest victory, away to bottom-placed Queen Ethelburga’s.
Goals from Will McCamley, Michael Colquhoun and Olly Scott ultimately got them over the line as Graham Fenton and Lee Picton’s side earned maximum points.
Fenton was not overly impressed with the performance, but was delighted to stay in contention for the title.
He said: “It was a positive result for us after a fairly disappointing performance.
“We were up against a hard-working, spirited Queen Ethelburga’s side who caused us some problems on the day.
“We will have to perform better against Tyne Met if we are to get a victory there, but hopefully the lads can improve and get the job done.”
Fenton reserved particular praise for centre-back Adam Onarbay and goalkeeper Aaron Steavens, who was making his third appearance for the academy.
He added: “Adam had another good game in the centre of defence and we’ve been very impressed with him lately.
“Aaron performed particularly well in goal and is doing really well.
“He has played three times for us now and has acquitted himself well in each performance.
“We’re delighted with how he has settled in and with the way he has mixed with the group.
“It’s brilliant to have him as part of the programme.”
The kick-off time of Monday’s title showdown, which will be played at North Shields FC’s Daren Persson Stadium, is to be confirmed.
SSFC Academy team to play Queen Ethelburga’s College: Steavens, Biwer, Lockey, Black, Onarbay, Errington, McCamley, Elcoate, Colquhoun, Scott, Judson. Subs: Patterson, Morris, Carney, Dunn, Ames.
South Shields’ youngsters continued their fine form with two impressive victories on Wednesday.
Two SSFC Academy teams were in action, with one registering a 8-1 win over Harrogate Town in the National League Under-19 Alliance, and the other overcoming Queen Ethelburga’s College 4-1 in the ESFA National Elite Under-18 Cup.
The Under-19s held a 7-0 lead at half-time after a tremendous first half display.
They eventually won 8-1 after a calmer second half, with David Allasan netting a hat-trick.
The other goals were scored by Sam Hodgson (2), Max Cowburn, Callum Guy and Arron Thompson.
Joint manager Graham Fenton felt there were many positives to take from the display at the Silksworth Sports Complex.
He said: “It was the proverbial game of two halves.
“We were absolutely magnificent in the first half, when we played some quick-moving, incisive football which was really pleasing on the eye.
“We were very threatening throughout the first 45 minutes and could have hit double figures.
“We took our foot off the gas in the second half and let Harrogate back into the game.
“At half-time, we asked for the players to show a ruthless streak, and they didn’t show that unfortunately.
“It looked like the lads already knew they had won the game.
“We’ll now be looking for the players to replicate that first half performance moving forwards, or get as close to it as possible.
“There were certainly huge positives to take from the first half performances, and we have to aim for those levels as often as possible.”
SSFC Academy team vs Harrogate Town: Armstrong, Morris, Devine, Thompson, Errington, Bexton, Allasan, Elcoate, Hodgson, Guy, Cowburn. Subs: Ames, Judson, Marcelino.
Goals: Allasan (3), Hodgson (2), Cowburn, Guy, Thompson.
Read a full report on the victory over Harrogate from our friends at SportsByte here: https://ssfcacademy.wordpress.com/2018/12/12/allasan-hat-trick-helps-shields-thrash-harrogate/
Meanwhile, the club’s Under-18 starlets emerged from a trip to York to take on Queen Ethelburga’s College with a 4-1 victory.
Will McCamley continued his excellent goalscoring form with a further two goals, with Michael Colquhoun and Dom Minchella completing the scoring.
The result moved the young Mariners into the last 16 of the ESFA National Elite U18 Cup.
SSFC Academy team vs Queen Ethelburga’s College: Bramley, Yembe, Scott, Biwer, Patterson, Lockey, Black, Jenkins, Colquhoun, McCamley, Minchella. Subs: Carney, Green.
Goals: McCamley (2), Colquhoun, Minchella.