Scott Curtis has left his position as South Shields FC Ladies head coach after six months in charge.

Curtis took on the role at a difficult moment in the 2020-21 season, just as games were resuming following the winter lockdown.

He had an immediate and positive impact, overseeing a real improvement which culminated in the terrific achievement of progression to the final of the Durham County Cup.

A professional, hard-working and approachable individual, Curtis was well-respected by everyone he encountered at the club.

We would like to thank him for his superb efforts and wish him the very best of luck in his life and future coaching positions.

Assistant coach Ben Garrity has stepped up to fill the head coach role.

Garrity got off to a flying start on Sunday as the team won 3-2 at Farsley Celtic in the North East Regional Women’s Football League.

We wish Ben all the very best following his appointment and he will be supported as much as possible to ensure his tenure is a success.

An interview with Ben will feature on the website later in the week, as well as in the matchday programme for Saturday’s men’s first-team fixture against Buxton.

South Shields Ladies were well beaten by an impressive York City side as the visitors ran out 5-1 winners on Sunday.

The result left the Mariners still searching for their first points of the season in the North East Regional Women’s League, having lost all three of their games so far.

They faced a difficult task at Harton Welfare against York, who ended the day top of the table with 10 points from four games, and are expected to challenge for the title.

Shields will therefore hope to use Sunday’s game as a learning curve as they look to build their way into the campaign.

Scott Curtis’ side created the first opportunity as Isla Maggs tried her luck from distance, but the effort comfortably cleared the bar.

The visitors came close to opening the scoring minutes later as a shot from close range was dragged wide, but they did take the lead moments afterwards.

An inviting cross found the unmarked Sophie Tinson, and she headed past Scarlett Gowans and into the top corner.

Shields almost responded immediately as Caitlin Bates whipped the ball into the penalty area and Eve Gatens’ volley went just wide.

York scored the crucial second goal, though, as a floated corner made its way to the edge of the penalty area and a low shot from Milly Ash sneaked into the far post.

Bates came close to halving the deficit when she poked the ball beyond the goalkeeper, but the effort was cleared off the line.

It was then Gatens’ turn to come close, but her well-struck effort from distance was straight at the goalkeeper.

Only moments after the restart, York made it three. Another cross into the box caused unrest, and the ball was prodded home from close range by Holly Findlay.

York made it four midway through the second half when a well-hit free-kick by Tinson struck the inside of the post and bounced into the net.

The visitors had an opportunity to add a fifth as an incisive break saw Tinson go through on goal, but Gowans made an excellent save.

Shields were then awarded a penalty. Gatens made space and was about to pull the trigger before being brought down. She then confidently fired the spot kick into the bottom corner.

Gatens came close to adding a second, but was beaten to the ball in the nick of time by the goalkeeper as she intercepted a square pass from Bates.

Any lingering Shields hopes were extinguished, though, when York scored their fifth through Rebecca Fevers, who lifted the ball into an empty net after a miscued clearance.

Mariners head coach Scott Curtis said: “It was disappointing to lose in the fashion that we did, because it was important to build on last week, when we beat Chester-le-Street United in the FA Cup.

“We just need to make sure we respond to this and learn from our mistakes.”

Image: Craig McNair.

South Shields tasted defeat in their opening home game of the North East Regional Women’s League season as Wakefield Trinity ran out 3-2 winners on Sunday. 

It was a second 3-2 loss in as many weeks for the Mariners, who were beaten on the opening day at Sunderland West End.

As they looked to respond to that result, Shields started brightly against Wakefield at Harton Welfare and created the first opportunity as Natalie May’s deflected effort from inside the area found Eve Gatens, but her effort was parried behind.

Despite the early pressure from the hosts, Wakefield Trinity took the lead with a lobbed finish over Scarlett Gowans.

Gatens went close to an equaliser soon after as a well-hit free kick from the edge of the area narrowly went wide.

Wakefield had the chance to double their lead shortly afterwards as a looping cross into the box was headed over from close distance.

Isla Maggs had the next effort for Shields. A well-worked move opened up space for a shot, but it was straight at the goalkeeper.

Shortly afterwards, Caitlin Bates made it a debut to remember with a fantastic goal to level the scores. She cut in from the right and fired a brilliant strike into the top corner.

Shields’ joy was short-lived, though, as Wakefield regained their lead moments later. An awkward bounce played the striker through on goal, and her headed effort looped into the net.

Within seconds, Wakefield had another. A fine strike from distance found the bottom corner, catching the Shields defence off-guard.

Gatens halved the deficit with a brilliant effort from distance and the Mariners almost found an equaliser through Bates as she shifted the ball onto her right foot inside the box and created space, but her shot went narrowly wide.

Gatens then had another effort from the edge of the area after some good play, but it was straight at the goalkeeper.

As Shields pressed for an equaliser, Wakefield hit them on the break. The striker did well to create a chance by running from halfway, but fired wide.

A sweet strike from May was the Mariners’ best chance of an equaliser in the closing stages, but the goalkeeper kept it out to seal the points for Wakefield.

After the game, Shields head coach Scott Curtis said: “We were disappointed with the performance as it was a great chance to bounce back after the previous week.

“We didn’t get going and allowed Wakefield a comfortable lead at the break.

“That can’t happen at this level and we were punished for it.”

Image: Craig McNair.