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.