South Shields retained the Sam Bartram Memorial Cup after victory over Boldon CA on a wet afternoon in South Tyneside.

A young Shields side started the game with a fast pace, creating plenty of chances with skillful runs down the left wing. Oscar Taylor scored the opening goal for the visitors on eight minutes after some impressive work by Charlie McLeod, who danced through the Boldon defence and layed it off for his team-mate to fire it past the goalkeeper into the roof of the net.

Only a minute later the hosts hit the bar following some quick build up play, but Shields cleared and almost made it two on a rapid counter-attack, with Boldon having lots of work to do at the back.

Some back and forth play led to a Boldon penalty appeal just before 20 minutes but the referee was unmoved, letting the game go on. High pressing from the hosts led to their first shot on target, with a looping ball over from the left into Shields keeper Aaron Steavens, who quickly released the ball to his defence which gave the visitors a chance to go on yet another counter-attack, which was subsequently quashed by Boldon. 

With 15 minutes of the half left to play, former Shields favourite Jonny Wightman netted the leveller with a powerful strike into the roof of the net following some patient build-up play from the hosts. Inspired by their equaliser, the Villa created numerous chances and when Dan Nolan found himself one-on-one, he slotted the ball calmly past the keeper to give his side the lead.

Straight down the other end less than a minute later, Shields levelled it. After a fast build-up, Taylor found himself in the opposition penalty area and rounded the keeper to slot it home for his second of the game, and the equaliser.

End-to-end play finished the half, with both sides having the opportunity to go ahead before the break. Shields keeper Steavens produced a brilliant low save to keep his side level before the whistle blew for half-time.

The second period of play resumed just how the first had ended, with some brilliant work by both sides as there was counter-attack after counter-attack, with Villa eventually winning a penalty as Wightman was fouled in the area. Although Steavens went the right way, Levi Collins put his side ahead from the spot.

A quiet 10 minutes followed until finally, on 73 minutes, Shields had their second equaliser of the afternoon, as substitute Lewis Lukeman raced down the left wing, beating his man and putting it on a plate for another Shields sub, Harry Gardiner, who slotted it home for the visitors.

Shields were now on top and hit the woodwork following a corner on 82 minutes before embarking on numerous further attacks. Their persistence paid off, as three minutes before time a looping cross from the left found the head of James McGeorge, who put it past the keeper for the eventual winner.

Shields keeper Steavens began to gradually lose his voice, barking orders at his defence from between the sticks as the game neared its conclusion. It was a great performance from the youngster, who produced a number of top class saves during the 90 minutes. 

Boldon ended the game strongly as they searched for a goal but couldn’t quite get it, with Shields emerging victorious and retaining the cup with a side full of young talent.

Ex-Shields player Wightman won the home side’s man of the match award, with McLeod also getting a much deserved man of the match award for his brilliant performance. 

Captain Joe Lockey collected the trophy for the visitors after a deserved win for Shields, and a performance to be proud of for all of the young lads on the pitch.

South Shields: Steavens, Morris, Neary, Aldus, Lockey (c), Errington, Ames, Williamson, Taylor, McLeod, Whitehead. Subs: Davey, Gardiner, Lukeman, McGeorge.

Two more fixtures have been added to South Shields’ pre-season schedule as preparations for the 2019-20 campaign continue to be stepped up.

The Mariners will travel to Boldon CA on Thursday, July 18 to compete for the Sam Bartram Memorial Cup, and will take on National League North outfit York City at Mariners Park on Tuesday, July 23.

The meeting with York will conjure fond memories for Shields supporters.

The last time the clubs faced each other, the Mariners triumphed 3-2 in a classic FA Cup tie at Mariners Park in September 2017.

Kick-off in the friendly will be at 7.30pm and admission prices will be £6 for adults, £4 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s.

Five days before that, Shields will make the short journey to Boldon CA for what has become an annual pre-season meeting.

The game will be held at The Villa (NE35 9HX), and kick-off is at 7pm. Admission prices will be £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.

The Mariners are the holders of the cup, having won 5-1 at Boldon last pre-season.

Lee Picton and Graham Fenton fielded a mixture of first-team and academy prospects in the match, and eventually ran out comfortable winners against the Wearside League outfit. A similar mixture of youth and experience is expected to be fielded in this year’s fixture.

The friendly honours South Shields-born goalkeeper Bartram, who played for Boldon Villa before going on to have a superb career with Charlton Athletic.

Bartram played for clubs including Boldon Villa and Boldon Colliery Welfare before achieving fame with Charlton Athletic, who he represented between 1934 and 1956.

During World War Two, he made guest appearances for Notts County, Bournemouth, Liverpool, Brentford, Crystal Palace, York City, Bradford and West Ham United.

He won three unofficial England caps and won the FA Cup in 1947.

Many regard him as one of the greatest goalkeepers never to win a full international cap.

Here is the pre-season schedule so far:

Thursday, July 11 – Sunderland (H), 7.30pm kick-off

Saturday, July 13 – Cleethorpes Town (H), 3pm kick-off

Wednesday, July 17 – Huddersfield Town (H), 7.30pm kick-off

Thursday, July 18 – Boldon CA (A), 7pm kick-off

Tuesday, July 23 – York City (H), 7.30pm kick-off

Saturday, July 27 – Guiseley (A), 3pm kick-off

Tuesday, July 30 – Hebburn Town (A), 7.30pm kick-off

Saturday, August 10 – Ossett United (A), 3pm kick-off

South Shields are to travel to Boldon CA on Wednesday, August 1 in what has become an annual pre-season tradition.

The Mariners will face the Wearside League side for the Sam Bartram Memorial Trophy.

The friendly honours South Shields-born goalkeeper Bartram, who played for Boldon Villa before going on to have a superb career with Charlton Athletic.

Last year’s match saw the cup shared, with Michael Richardson and Carl Finnigan scoring the Mariners’ goals in a 2-2 draw.

Joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton are expected to send a mixture of first-team and academy players to the Boldon CA Sports Ground as they continue their preparations for the season.

Kick-off is at 7.30pm.

There are plenty of parking places at or around the ground (postcode NE35 9HX).

Boldon Colliery can also very easily be reached by public transport, with a number of buses passing through the village and Brockley Whins Metro Station under a 10-minute walk away.

Bartram played for clubs including Boldon Villa and Boldon Colliery Welfare before achieving fame with Charlton Athletic, who he represented between 1934 and 1956.

During World War Two, he made guest appearances for Notts County, Bournemouth, Liverpool, Brentford, Crystal Palace, York City, Bradford and West Ham United.

He won three unofficial England caps and won the FA Cup in 1947.

Many regard him as one of the greatest goalkeepers never to win a full international cap.