🏆 Sam Bartram Cup

⚽️ Boldon CA vs South Shields XI

📍 Boldon Colliery Welfare Ground

⏰  2.30pm, Saturday 12th December 

The Mariners go head to head with Boldon CA in the annual Sam Bartram Cup match on Saturday. Shields will make the short journey down the road to play in front of fans for the first time in over a month.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of Saturday’s 2.30pm kick-off.

The annual game between Shields and Boldon honours South Tyneside-born goalkeeping great Sam Bartram.

Bartram started his career playing as a centre-forward or winger, playing non-league football throughout the North East. It wasn’t until he was asked to fill in for an injured goalkeeper before a cup final for Boldon that he began to play between the sticks. Angus Seed, a scout from Charlton Athletic, was watching this game and Bartram’s performance convinced him to recommend the Boldon keeper to his employers. 

Batram went on to play for the Addicks for 22 years – excluding the war years – racking up a club record 623 appearances until his retirement in 1956. He is regarded by some as Charlton’s greatest ever player. Although touring Australia with an England XI during 1951, he didn’t make an appearance, burdening him with the unwanted praise  as “the finest goalkeeper to never play for England”. He won three unofficial caps for England, though.

Following retirement, he went on to manage York City for 211 games and then moved to Luton Town after four years. He remained at the Bedfordshire outfit for two seasons. A nine-foot statue of Bartram was built outside Charlton’s stadium, The Valley, in 2005 to celebrate the club’s centenary. 

Last year, Shields ran out 1-0 winners over Boldon thanks to a goal from Sam Hodgson, and will be hoping to retain the cup on Saturday, following defeat at Ashton United in the first round of the Buildbase FA Trophy on Tuesday. 

The Mariners last played Boldon in August, winning 3-1 against the Wearside League team in a pre-season friendly at 1st Cloud Arena. 

Some familiar faces for South Shields fans are in the opposition’s squad, with Jonny Wightman, Dan Wright and Stephen Ramsey all former Mariners now plying their trade down the road for Boldon. With Ramsey injured, Wightman and Wright could be taking on their former side on Saturday.

Due to the current tier restrictions across the North East because of Covid-19, attendance will be limited to 100, and it’s first come, first served. 

By Daniel Prince

Boldon CA inflicted a second defeat of pre-season on South Shields on Saturday as they won the Sam Bartram Memorial Cup with a 1-0 victory.

Josh Houghton scored the winner four minutes into the second half, with an experimental Shields side unable to force their way back into the game.

It was an even encounter, but Boldon were resolute throughout, and looked threatening in the last third as they claimed the trophy.

The game started in quiet fashion, but Shields almost took the lead on 17 minutes when Joe Melvin’s sweet left-footed effort from the edge of the box struck the base of the post.

At the other end, goalkeeper Ryan Beal kept the Mariners level when he pulled off a superb fingertip save from a curling Houghton shot, while he also denied ex-Shields striker Adam Sharp as Boldon started to impress.

Sharp had another glorious opportunity to open the scoring on 37 minutes as he latched onto a ball over the top, but then miscontrolled as he tried to round Beal, who gratefully claimed it.

Shields came on strongly in the latter stages of the half, and Melvin created a great chance for Adam Curry with a cross from the right, but he headed it wide.

Three minutes before the break, Aron Burn came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock when James Hepinstall’s cross was nudged across goal by Gary Crutwell and prodded goalwards by Burn. A Boldon defender scrambled the ball clear, with Shields claiming the ball had crossed the line, but the officials remaining unmoved.

Boldon were the team to open the scoring, with Houghton sending a half-volley into the top corner four minutes into the second half.

Sharp dragged a shot wide soon after, while Boldon created one more gilt-edged opportunity while limiting Shields’ chances at the other end.

Lee Scott sent a header wide and Paul Kane had a free-kick saved, but Shields were unable to force a goal, and Boldon claimed the victory as they took the cup.

The Mariners are next in action on Wednesday, with FA Vase champions North Shields the visitors to Mariners Park for a 7.30pm kick-off.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Beal, Locke (c) (Nicholson 60), Hepinstall (Gray 58), Burn, Galpin (Turner 50), Chapim, Sakr (Buchanan 69), Crutwell (Kempster 63), Guerin (Scott 50), Melvin (Kane 60), Curry (Holland 58).

By Daniel Prince

South Shields retained the Sam Bartram Memorial Cup by coming from behind to beat Boldon CA 3-1 at the Villa.

Makeshift striker Colin White scored twice for the Mariners, while substitute Barry Marshall scored the other as Jon King’s side recovered from going in 1-0 behind at half-time.

AT THE DOUBLE ... Colin White

AT THE DOUBLE … Colin White

Anton Crann gave the home side the lead on 13 minutes when his free-kick deflected in off the post.

The first half was even, though, with both teams failing to create many clear-cut chances.

Barrie Smith sent a long-range effort over the bar for Shields, while goalkeeper Brett Wilson did well at the other end to keep out a 20-yard shot.

A short-corner routine almost reaped dividends for the Mariners just after the half-hour, but Chris Feasey’s cross was blocked by the goalkeeper.

Andy Renton should have levelled the scores six minutes before the break.

A ball over the top was flicked on by White perfectly into Renton’s path, but after trying to round the goalkeeper, he saw his shot saved.

That ensured the sides went at half-time level, but Renton immediately set about changing that after the restart.

He cut in from the left and unleashed a curling right-foot shot which came back off the bar, while White saw a low shot saved on 48 minutes.

It seemed just a matter of time before Shields equalised, and two minutes later, they did.

A superb run and cross from Chris Locke on the right was slid in by fellow substitute Marshall in the six-yard box.

On 57 minutes, the Mariners took the lead.

After White was fouled on the right near the corner flag, Barrie Smith’s free-kick was sent into the perfect area. The towering White nodded it in, and that was not to be his last activity in front of goal.

On the hour mark, Abu Salim’s cross found Marshall in the box, but he was off balance and skewed his shot wide.

It could have been 3-1 to Shields on 66 minutes after Marshall controlled a Locke cross, turned and then fired at goal, but the Boldon goalkeeper did well to palm it over.

Two minutes later, though, the game-clinching goal was scored by White.

A terrific through ball sent him in on goal on the right of the box, and he slotted it into the opposite corner.

Boldon saw two shots from range go just over, while Salim could have made it four for Shields, but failed to round the goalkeeper. The ball was then played back to Smith, and his shot went well wide.

The Mariners had done enough to clinch the cup, though, as they completed their pre-season preparations in good style.

They kick-off the new Ebac Northern League Division Two season at Willington, on August 9.

South Shields team: Wilson, Stephenson (Locke 38), Feasey, Burn, Halliday (Stephenson 75), Houshby (Marshall 38), Renton (Salim 52), Smith (c), Maitland (Black 52), Molloy, White (Houshby 73).