South Shields continued their 100% pre-season as they toppled West Allotment Celtic 3-0 on Wednesday.

Goals from Sam Hodgson,  a trialist and Will McGowan saw Shields run out comfortable victors.

The Mariners almost found the opener early in the game as captain Robert Briggs played a wonderful ball through to a trialist, but his effort was hacked off the line.

West Allotment then had a chance to break the deadlock, but Shields’ other trialist, a goalkeeper, made an excellent save to deny Larmouth from distance.

Sam Hodgson opened the scoring for the visitors. An excellent pass by McGowan found the striker, who chipped the West Allotment goalkeeper.

Shortly after, a trialist doubled Shields’ lead. Jon Shaw played a great pass from deep and the trialist kept his composure to fire home.

The Mariners put the game to bed with the pick of the goals. McGowan twisted and turned on the edge of the box before firing a powerful effort past Hodgson and into the top corner.

Shields continued to dominate the game with some confident passing moves, and nullifying the West Allotment attack.

Alfie Marriott had a great chance to make it four to Shields, but his effort from close range unfortunately sailed over the bar.

South Shields: Trialist, Hunter, Hopper, Shaw, Agnew, Briggs (c), Lukeman, McGowan, Hodgson, Trialist, McGeorge. Subs: Boney, Neary, Aldus, Marriott, Watson, Fletcher, Cresdee, Walker, Waldon.

Goals: Hodgson (17), Trialist (29), McGowan (33).

Attendance: 214.

South Shields will take on clubs including Blyth Spartans and Gateshead as part of a busy pre-season programme ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

The Mariners will travel to Croft Park to face Blyth on Saturday, July 24, with the game against another National League North side, Gateshead, to take place on Saturday, August 7 at 1st Cloud Arena.

Those fixtures are among eight which have been confirmed for pre-season so far, with four of them to take place at 1st Cloud Arena. It is hoped that a ninth match will be confirmed in due course.

Among Shields’ other opponents before the Pitching In Northern Premier League campaign gets underway are Stockton Town, Consett and Marske United.

The confirmed pre-season fixtures to date are:

Tuesday, July 13: Newton Aycliffe (away, 7.30pm kick-off)
Saturday, July 17: Stockton Town (home, 3pm kick-off)
Tuesday, July 20: Consett (home, 7.30pm kick-off)
Wednesday, July 21: Crook Town (away, 7.30pm kick-off)
Saturday, July 24: Blyth Spartans (away, 3pm kick-off)
Wednesday, July 28: West Allotment Celtic (away, 7.30pm kick-off)
Saturday, July 31: Marske United (home, 3pm kick-off)
Saturday, August 7: Gateshead (home, 3pm kick-off)

Admission and ticket details will be confirmed when it is possible to do so.

South Shields moved to within five points of leaders North Shields in Northern League Division One with a convincing 4-1 win at West Allotment Celtic on Wednesday.

The Mariners dominated long stretches at Whitley Park, and took the lead early on thanks to a superb strike from Jon Shaw.

However, they were pegged back before the break, and needed an own goal and a brace from David Foley to make sure of the points in the second half.

West Allotment kept them honest with a committed display as they showed the battling qualities they will need in their fight against relegation.

Goalkeeper Chris Bannon was in particularly impressive form for the home side as he kept Shields at bay on several occasions.

After watching a Robert Briggs header from a Wayne Phillips free-kick go wide in the first minute, Bannon did well to deny Shaw from close range.

He could do nothing to keep the former Gateshead striker off the scoresheet on 19 minutes, though.

Shaw collected the ball 25 yards from goal and picked out the top corner with a sumptuous strike for his third goal in two games.

Within a minute of that, Craig Hindmarch had a decent opportunity to draw Celtic level, but he could only fire over from the edge of the box.

Despite dominating the ball, Shields were unable to extend their lead.

Bannon did well to make a double save from Anthony Callaghan, while he also made a flying stop from Phillips after he cut inside from the right.

He was rewarded for his efforts two minutes before the break when a ball over the top caused problems for the Mariners, and Liam Hudson nipped in to level for the hosts.

Shields had been on the right track, and despite the blow of conceding an equaliser, continued in the same vein after half-time.

Adam Wrightson, who had a superb game on the right flank, delivered a terrific ball to the back post, but Shaw could only head over from a good position.

The Mariners were soon back in front, though, and the breakthrough arrived when Callaghan burst down the left before sending in a teasing delivery which John Pendlebury headed past his own goalkeeper.

Danny Carson almost extended the lead when his shot from distance was deflected not far wide, but Shields had to be patient for goal number three.

Substitute Julio Arca came so close to providing it when he whipped an effort from 25 yards which was destined for the top corner before being brilliantly tipped over by Bannon.

West Allotment’s Dale Pearson was sent off after an off-the-ball incident with 16 minutes left, and Shields made the one-man advantage count.

Arca and Carl Finnigan combined well to release Foley through on goal, and he shrugged off his marker before finding the bottom corner to make it 3-1.

Darren Holden was unable to claim a debut goal as he headed over from a Wrightson cross, but Shields did make it four with four minutes remaining when a fantastic through ball from Carson was collected by Foley, who rounded Bannon and made no mistake.

Liam Connell made a good save from Hudson late on as the Mariners made it 13 wins from their last 14 games.

They still have a game in hand on leaders North Shields, whose advantage is now five points.

The Mariners take a break from league action on Saturday, with Staveley Miners Welfare visiting Mariners Park for an FA Vase third round tie.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Smith (Finnigan 81), Callaghan, Carson, Morse, Baxter, Wrightson, Briggs (Arca 60), Shaw (c), Foley, Phillips (Holden 70). Subs not used: Barlow, Ramsey.

Goals: Shaw (19), Own goal (52), Foley (82, 86).

WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.