Russell Foster Youth League Under-15s Division Two

Sunday, May 17 2015

Swalwell Swifts vs South Shields FC

South Shields FC: Ramage, Rafferty, Henderson, Gilchrist, McGill, Howe, Daglish, Urwin, Birkett, Hogg, McBeth.

Sub: Slater.

Goalscorers: Howe, Birkett, Henderson, Slater.

Report by Philip Reay

The Professional Flooring Services-sponsored South Shields Under-15 side rounded off the season with a 4-0 victory at Swalwell Swifts.

With the title secured, the team needed two things to complete the season: a goal to take their total for the season in the league to 100, and a goal for Ethan Henderson.

The game started with the Shields side playing into the face of a strong breeze, that combined with the rock hard pitch, made it difficult to play attractive and flowing football.

The young Mariners started quite brightly, and inside the first five minutes, Codie Howe won the ball in a central position before releasing Scott Rafferty on the right flank. Rafferty controlled the ball before outpacing his marker and rifling a shot at goal that flew inches wide of the upright.

A minute later, the Swalwell defence was again under pressure as Tom Birkett collected the ball and fired a first time shot from 25 yards that flew agonisingly wide.

Shields continued to pressurise the Swalwell defence as rampaging Rafferty again broke forward on the right flank and combined with Howe, but again his finishing let him down as his shot cleared the bar.

On 10 minutes, a long clearance by the Swalwell keeper was chased down by their centre forward, but he was crowded out by the Shields defence and Jack Ramage comfortably collected the ball.

In the starting line-up for the first time since the injury at Hetton eight weeks ago, James Hogg outpaced the defence on the right flank before releasing Birkett, but his shot didn’t trouble the keeper as it cleared the bar.

On the quarter-hour, Shields were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal following a harsh handball decision. Howe placed the ball and fired it towards goal. As a man, the Swalwell defensive wall jumped as he struck the ball, and with the perfect daisy cutter, it crept into the back of the net to give the side their 100th goal of the season.

In his post-match interview, Howe claimed to have anticipated the wall would jump and had deliberately struck the ball low. We all believe you Codie, honestly we do.

The Swalwell side defended well, and their play belied their lowly position as they restricted the Shields side to long range attempts on goal.

As the half approached the midpoint, Birkett raced through the Swalwell defence, but at the vital moment the ball struck a divot and as it bobbled, he shinned it wide of the goal.

Long range shots by Howe, Sam Urwin and Birkett followed, but all failed to trouble the Swalwell keeper.

On the half-hour, another long range shot, this time from Lewis Slater, hit the bar, and Birkett reacted quickest to fire in from close range to double the Shields advantage.

A minute later, and from an Alex McBeth corner the keeper punched the ball clear but only as far as Henderson. He volleyed it straight back, but he was not to get his goal as the ball flew wide of the post. So close, and yet so far.

As Shields continued to pressurise the Swalwell defence, they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box that was launched into the centre by Slater. The ball was cleared by the defence, but only as far as Urwin, and he volleyed the ball first time towards goal, but his shot grazed the top of the bar and out for a goal kick.

In the closing minutes of the half, Howe cut through the Swalwell defence before crossing the ball to Liam Simpson McGill. Unfortunately McGill, a scholar at the McBeth school of heading, sent his effort wide of the post.

The last action of the half saw Slater denied by a good save from the Swalwell keeper, and the sides went into the break with Shields holding a two-goal advantage.

At the start of the second half, the Swalwell keeper was quickly called to action as Urwin turned away from his marker before driving the ball towards goal, only to be denied by the keeper.

The second half also saw Henderson taking up a more advanced position. Simpson McGill and George Daglish combined on the left flank to release Henderson, but his shot was blocked by the Swalwell defence.

The Swalwell defence continued to thwart the attempts of the Shields side to increase their advantage as Slater, Howe, Urwin and Birkett all had shots at goal that failed to trouble the keeper.

On 50 minutes, Henderson released Simpson McGill, and he fired a shot from the angle of the box that flew inches wide of the post.

A minute later, Birkett collected the ball on the edge of the box before firing a shot towards goal that was well saved by the keeper.

The Swalwell defence was holding firm against an onslaught from the young Mariners. On 55 minutes, Slater picked the ball up midway inside the Swalwell half. He spotted the keeper off his line and lobbed the ball towards goal, but it flew inches over the bar.

On the hour, McBeth broke forward having been given a deeper role to play in the second half, but his shot was well saved by the Swalwell keeper.

On 67 minutes, the second box of the game was ticked as after 2,099 minutes of football and 121 goals, Ethan Henderson became the last of the outfield players to score a goal. Daglish advanced down the right flank before playing the ball to Henderson, and following a good touch, he calmly and coolly slotted the ball beyond the keeper for his first goal of the season.

Within a minute, Shields further extended their advantage as Slater fired home from the edge of the box.

Try as they might, Shields were unable to add to their total. The best opportunity came in the closing stages of the game. Edward Gilchrist picked the ball up on the edge of the box and advanced towards goal, but with only the keeper to beat, jigsaw again went to pieces in the box and the danger was cleared.

The final whistle brought great celebrations from the young Mariners as they celebrated on the pitch. Several bottles of bubbly were opened and sprayed on players, coaches and families.

On the downside, the weather held firm and we are still to see the magical properties of Stuart’s great umbrella – here’s to next season.

A great season of 20 league games, 18 victories, one draw and only one defeat, 103 goals scored, 16 conceded, seven clean sheets and failed to score once, and of course, league champions.

Congratulations to the players and coaches on the achievements this season. You have all been great ambassadors for the club, and long may it continue.

Russell Foster Youth League Under-15s Division Two

Tuesday, May 12 – Mortimer Community College

South Shields FC Under-15s vs Hetton Lyons Under-15s

South Shields: Ramage, Henderson, Gilchrist, McGill, Urwin, Smith, Howe (c), Daglish, McBeth, Birkett, Slater.

Subs: Raferty, Andersen

Goalscorers: McBeth (3), Howe, Urwin.

Hetton Lyons: Smile, Holmes, Box, Kent, Burdon, Hall, Wilson, Wmley, Conn, Stoker, McCullough.

Goalscorer: McCullough.

Report by Philip Reay

The Professional Flooring Services-sponsored South Shields Under-15s went into the game with Hetton looking to claim the three points required to take the league title, and also requiring six goals to reach 100 for the season.

On a cold, windy night, it was good to see some of the senior team supporters brave the elements to support the young Mariners.

The game started with Hetton having the advantage of a fairly strong wind at their back, and within the first minute they pressed forward, only to be thwarted by Jack Ramage in the Shields goal.

Shields responded immediately, and within a minute won a corner that was cleared by the Hetton defence, but only as far as George Daglish. Following good close control, he found Alex McBeth in space, and he took a touch before rifling the ball into the bottom corner of the goal to calm the nerves of the assembled South Shields supporters.

Shields maintained the pressure on the Hetton defence. McBeth and Lewis Slater combined on the left of the park to release Codie Howe, who controlled the ball before firing a 25-yard shot inches wide of the post.

On 10 minutes, Hetton broke forward and were awarded a free-kick. Kyle McCullough placed the ball, but his shot was well saved by Ramage.

Again Shields responded. McBeth again raced down the right flank and played the ball to Tom Birkett, and he in turn found Howe, but his shot flew wide.

On the quarter-hour, Hetton’s McCullough broke through the Shields defence and into the box, only to be denied by a superb challenge by Edward Gilchrist.

This was to be brief respite for the Hetton defence, as Shields again pressed forward. Ramage played the ball short to Sam Urwin on the right flank, and he broke forward and threaded the ball through to Birkett, who turned away from his marker before releasing Howe, and he fired the ball over the bar.

As the half approached the midpoint, Josh Smith won the ball in the centre of the park and found Howe in space on the left. Howe outpaced his marker before playing the ball into the path of Birkett, who drove the ball towards the corner of the goal, but was denied by a good save by the Hetton keeper.

Howe again broke through the Hetton defence and found Birkett in space on the right. Birkett rounded his man before firing a shot across the face of goal that flew just wide.

From the restart, McBeth picked the ball up on the half way line and played a one-two with Daglish before crossing the vall for Slater, and he rifled a first time shot wide of the post.

On 25 minutes, Daglish won the ball on the left of the park and played it down the line to McBeth, and he laid it into the path of Howe, but his shot flew wide.

Shields maintained the pressure on the visitors’ defence. Howe collected a ball from Ramage and fired a volley at goal that the keeper was only able to collect at the second attempt.

On the half-hour, a Smith corner was headed towards goal by Slater, but his effort was blocked by a defender before being picked up by the keeper.

A minute later, a long-range shot by Howe was fumbled by the keeper, and McBeth reacted quickest to fire the ball towards goal, only to be denied as the keeper tipped the effort round the post.

The Shields pressure was relentless, and in the closing minutes of the first half, Slater was denied by a superb fingertip save from the Hetton keeper.

A minute later, Shields eventually gained the reward their pressure deserved. Howe won the ball in a central position and broke through the midfield before releasing Birkett, and he in turn found McBeth, and he drove the ball beyond the keeper to double the Mariners’ advantage.

The last action of the half saw Hetton break forward, and having been a spectator for most of the game, Ramage was alert to the danger, saving well from the Hetton No.6, and the young Mariners went into the break two goals to the good.

The second half started with Shields on the front foot. Slater won the ball in the centre of the park before releasing Howe, but his shot flew wide of the post.

A minute later, Howe again had an opportunity from the edge of the box, but his shot was well saved.

Ten minutes into the half, Howe and McBeth combined on the right flank to open up the defence, and Howe fired a shot at goal from the right that hit the angle of the goal before being hacked clear.

A minute later and again the woodwork came to the rescue of the visitors. Liam Andersen broke out of defence and found Howe in space and he slipped the ball to McBeth, who saw his shot deflected for a corner. From the corner, Slater played the ball to Birkett, and his shot struck the bar before being cleared.

Despite their dominance, Shields were unable to add to their tally, and then on the hour – against the run of play – Hetton reduced the deficit.

As at Hetton, it was McCullough that found the net, as he collected a long ball out of defence and beat Ramage with a long-range shot.

From the restart, Shields again broke forward, and Birkett went close to restoring the two-goal advantage as he fired a shot at goal from the angle of the box that was well saved by the keeper.

The two-goal lead was restored a minute later. From a quickly taken throw-in by McBeth, Howe collected the ball and beat his marker before firing in from 20 yards.

The goal spurred Shields forward, and within a minute Howe came close to doubling his tally with a shot from the edge of the box that was tipped round the post by the keeper. The resulting corner was cleared, but only as far as Scott Rafferty, and he rifled the ball back towards goal, but was denied by the keeper.

The Shields advantage was further extended on 70 minutes as McBeth claimed a well-deserved hat-trick. He collected a long ball from keeper Ramage and chipped the ball over the advancing keeper for 4-1.

The scoring was completed a minute later. Rafferty rifled a 25-yard shot at goal that was tipped onto the bar, and Urwin reacted quickest to fire in for 5-1.

Shields pressed forward in the closing 10 minutes, but were unable to get the goal that would bring up the century for the season.

With one game remaining, the young Mariners are in an unassailable position at the top of the league, and rather than the usual dash for warmth at the end of the game, everyone stayed back to take photographs. Following the celebratory photographs, the champions elect sprayed each other with a bottle of bubbly.

Next up is a trip to Swalwell on Sunday to end the season hopefully with a win and a goal to bring up the 100.

Russell Foster Youth League Division Two

Plains Farm Under-15s 1-3 South Shields FC Under-15s

South Shields: Ramage, Rafferty (c) Henderson, Andersen, McGill, Smith, Daglish, Slater, Urwin, Howe, McBeth.

Sub: Birkett.

Goalscorers: Slater, Birkett, Smith.

By Philip Reay. Main image: Jack Ramage.

The Professional Flooring Services-sponsored South Shields Under-15 side took another step towards claiming the league title with a hard-fought victory over Plains Farm on Sunday.

The squad was boosted by the return of Liam Andersen, and it was also good to see James Hogg at the game. Unfortunately, while able to take part in the warm-up, he is not yet at full match fitness; hopefully he will be able to play a part in the final game of the season at Swalwell Swifts.

On a tight pitch, there was little space for the lads to play their usual expansive game.

The first opportunity came as the fifth minute approached. Sam Urwin fired a 25 yard shot that Reece Brigham tipped onto the bar, and from the rebound Josh Smith smashed the ball at goal, but it was blocked by the Plains Farm defence. Urwin reacted quickest to fire in another shot, only to be denied again by Brigham.

Shields continued to press forward as they pinned their opponents back in their own half, as they won a series of corners that were well defended by Plains Farm.

On seven minutes, the pressure bore fruit. Liam Simpson McGill raced down the left flank, leaving defenders in his wake before playing the ball into the feet of Urwin, and he in turn found Lewis Slater on the edge of the box. Slater drove the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

From the restart, Scott Rafferty drove out of defence, brushing aside several challenges before rifling a shot inches wide of the post.

Against the run of play, a defensive lapse allowed Plains Farm to restore parity. Thomas Fairweather crossed the ball into the box from the right flank for Jake Walton, and he headed in at the back post from close range.

Shields responded well to the setback, and within a minute Codie Howe collected the ball from George Daglish and rifled a 30 yard shot that flew agonisingly wide of the upright.

On the quarter-hour, Howe played the ball over the defence for Alex McBeth to run on to and he rifled a shot towards goal, only to be denied by a superb save by Reece Brigham.

Within a minute, McBeth again went close as he collected a ball from Smith before driving just wide of the post.

McBeth was causing problems for the home defence, but was unable to get the vital strike, and at the midpoint of the first half he again went close as he rounded off a flowing move involving Smith and Urwin, but his shot again flew wide of the post.

Shields continued to dominate play, but were finding it difficult to break through a packed Plains Farm defence, and when they did, they were denied by goalkeeper Bingham, or their efforts flew wide of the post.

A case in point on 25 minutes. Howe brushed aside several challenges in a tenacious run from the halfway line (cheers Stuart) which ended as he fired a 25 yard drive at goal that was well saved by Bingham.

Within a minute, Howe was again in action as he broke from midfield to release Tom Birkett, but again he was denied as Bingham parried his shot into the path of McBeth, but again his shot flew over the bar.

On the half hour, Simpson McGill outpaced the defence on the left before crossing to Birkett, but again Bingham was on hand to deny him.

The Shields pressure brought reward a minute later. Howe played the ball into the box, and Birkett was on hand to fire past Bingham to restore the Shields advantage.

From the restart, the young Mariners again pressed forward. Howe won the ball in the centre of the park and released Birkett on the left, who cut in towards goal and rifled a shot from the angle of the box that was well saved by Bingham.

In the last action of the half, Smith picked the ball up wide on the left and took a touch before unleashing a shot that curled beyond the reach of Bingham to take the young Mariners into the break with a two-goal advantage.

As the second half started, Shields were again frustrated as the Plains Farm defence held firm against a constant wave of attacks.

The half was almost 10 minutes old before there was a clear opportunity. McBeth collected the ball from Birkett, but his shot was tipped round the post for a corner.

That was to be Birkett’s last involvement in the game as he was bundled over and injured his shoulder. It is hoped that he will be fit to play against Hetton on Tuesday.

Having been a spectator for most of the game, Jack Ramage was called into action a minute later as he tipped a Walton shot round the post before punching the resulting corner clear.

The home side looked a little livelier in the second half and enjoyed a little more possession, but they were unable to convert the possession into goalscoring threats as the Shields side held firm.

On 55 minutes, Howe took a quick throw on the left to McBeth, and he fired a shot on the turn that flew just wide of the upright.

The half had no flow or pattern as the game became littered by a series of free-kicks. As the game approached the 65th minute, Urwin and Slater combined to open up the home defence to release Smith, but he fired his shot over the bar.

A minute later, Shields again went close as Smith turned provider as he threaded a ball through to Howe, but his long range shot flew over the bar.

The half lacked the intensity of the first as Shields played within themselves with the luxury of a two-goal cushion.

In the closing stages of the game, long range efforts from Howe, Slater and McBeth failed to trouble Bingham in the Plains Farm goal.

There are now only two games to play, and the lads are in pole position to take the title.

Off the field, it was also pleasing to see Stuart resplendent with new Nike umbrella. Should we have a nuclear attack, everyone should congregate round Stuart, as for the price he paid, the new brolly must not only provide protection from the rain, but will also withstand nuclear attack.