By Daniel Prince
South Shields were beaten in the most frustrating of circumstances after a thrilling derby match at North Shields.
The Mariners – who were reduced to 10 men just before half-time when goalkeeper Jak Wells was sent off – fought valiantly and deserved to take something from the game before the home side won it with the last kick.
Jon King’s side fell behind early on when Robins striker Gareth Bainbridge gave his side the lead after a ball over the top.
The forward looked suspiciously offside, but the goal was given.
However, South Shields were level in the ninth minute when they were awarded a penalty in the top left corner of the box, and Stephen Ramsey sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.
Just four minutes later, the turnaround was complete as Luke Richardson made a strong run into the box before the ball fell into the path of Adam Burnicle, who fired it in.
North Shields were so nearly level soon after, but Wells somehow turned Bainbridge’s header onto the bar at point-blank range after a ball over from the left.
The ball bounced onto the line after hitting the bar, and the Mariners then cleared it away to safety.
The moment which was to change the game happened just before the break, though.
North Shields found Dean Holmes in the box, and as he touched it around Wells, the referee decided the goalkeeper brought him down.
After consulting his linesman, the referee decided to send the Mariners keeper off, much to Wells’ frustration, as he claimed he had not touched the forward.
With no outfield keeper on the bench, Colin White went in goal, and Bainbridge sent him the wrong way from the spot to bring the scores level going into the break.
Lewis Turnbull took the gloves at the start of the second half, and was beaten on 58 minutes when Kevin Hughes punished the stand-in goalkeeper when he spilled a free-kick.
Later in the half, Ramsey went in goal, making him the fourth different Shields player between the sticks in one game.
With time running out, the Mariners looked to have snatched a late, dramatic and deserved point when substitute Dan Hindmarsh did brilliantly to turn in a long throw when he fired in on the turn.
North Shields had a fantastic chance to take the points with two minutes of normal time left, but Bainbridge was brilliantly denied by Ramsey and then somehow smashed the rebound over the bar when it looked easier to hit the target.
However, they were to have one last late, late chance, and when a corner found its way to the far post as the game entered its 95th minute, John Parker struck it goalwards, and the men on the line were unable to keep it out. It proved to be the last kick of the game.
It was an undeserved defeat for South Shields as they fought hard throughout and, even with 10 men, did not concede too many chances against a side which went top of the league with the three points.
Against a side which had conceded just 10 league goals all season prior to the match, it was an admirable effort from the Mariners, but ultimately they suffered a body blow at the end when it looked as though they had done enough to claim a point.
It was a sensational game played in front of a bumper crowd of 367 – a record for a league game since North Shields was reformed in 1992 – and certainly whets the appetite for future fixtures between the two Shields clubs.
South Shields will look to bounce back after the late disappointment when they play Northallerton Town at Peterlee’s Eden Lane ground in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup on Tuesday, with the kick-off at 7.30pm.
NORTH SHIELDS: Ball, Donnison, Grey, Richardson, Parker, Hughes, Holmes, Forster, Bainbridge, Smart, Wrightson. Subs: Elliott, Mbiavanga, Scope.
Goals: Bainbridge (6, pen 45), Hughes (58), Parker (90+5).
SOUTH SHIELDS: Wells, Houshby (Sweeney 66), Olabode, Clarke (Locke 46), White, Riding, Smith (c), Richardson (Hindmarsh 64), Ramsey, Burnicle, Turnbull. Subs not used: Young, Feasey.
Goals: Ramsey (pen 9), Burnicle (13), Hindmarsh (85).
Booked: Clarke (40), White (57), Sweeney (89), Riding (90+3).
Sent off: Wells (44).
By Daniel Prince
South Shields manager Jon King has insisted his side have got what it takes to beat high-flying North Shields tomorrow.
The Mariners, who are unbeaten in eight league games, will face the side which has scored the most goals and conceded the fewest in Division Two this season at their Daren Persson Stadium home.
North Shields sit second in the division ahead of the derby, and King is expecting a tough test against “quality” opposition.
He said: “They have started the season flying. They are scoring lots of goals and not conceding many, so it is going to be a real, real test.
“It is a derby game and there will be a good crowd there. They have got good players and (Graham) Fenton has done a good job there.
“I know we will get chances, though. We are definitely doing a lot better than we were and not conceding many goals.
“We need to take our chances and be more clinical in front of goal and that will make the team more relaxed.”
On the standard of the Northern League as a whole, as well as the strength of North Shields, King added: “In the Northern League nobody ever gives up.
“The quality is not as good as the First Division, but teams have got a never say die attitude which is normally the case in derbies as well.
“I expect they will have a lot more quality than some of the sides we have played this season.
“To go and beat one of the best teams in the league in their own back yard would be fantastic.”
By Daniel Prince – from Friday’s Shields Gazette
Manager Jon King has called on South Shields fans to get behind his team for tomorrow’s derby at North Shields.
Many Mariners fans have been unable to attend games this season due to the club’s temporary move to Peterlee, but the Shields derby gives them a chance to turn out and support their team.
King’s side are in good form, and Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Washington extended their unbeaten run in Division Two of the Northern League to eight games.
However, they face an uphill task tomorrow, with North Shields having only conceded 10 goals in their 17 league games so far and currently sitting second in the table, compared to the Mariners’ 13th.
King said: “It’s understandable we don’t get so many people coming to watch us in Peterlee, but this one is local.
“Hopefully we can get a good amount of people coming from the town, because we’re on a good run and the town should be behind us.
“With this being a one-off game, a derby and there being no football on in the top divisions, we’re hoping people will come and support their local team.”
King was frustrated with Tuesday’s draw, as Shields created a host of chances in the first half but only got one goal to show for it.
However, he is confident his side can take maximum points from their trip across the Tyne.
He added: “The points should have been locked up and Washington could have had no complaints if we were three or four up.
“We had lots of possession and chances in the first half, and I was disappointed because we should have had it wrapped up.
“To go and beat one of the best teams in the league in their own back yard on Saturday though would be fantastic.
“They have started the season flying, so we need to take our chances and be more clinical in front of goal.”
Jordan Fraser will again miss out through suspension, while Richard Logan is unavailable as he is on holiday.
The match, at North Shields’ Daren Persson Stadium, kicks off at 3pm, while Shields are in action at Peterlee’s Eden Lane ground on Tuesday night as they face Northallerton Town in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup.