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).

🏆 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).