South Shields continued their preparations for the new season with an impressive 3-0 victory over National League North side York City.
Captain Robert Briggs handed the Mariners a first half lead at 1st Cloud Arena, converting from the penalty spot after midfielder Callum Ross was fouled.
Nathan Lowe’s free-kick and an emphatic finish by Jason Gilchrist in the second 45 confirmed the victory for the Mariners.
Shields were back in action following Saturday’s postponed fixture against Blyth Spartans, and were immediately onto the front foot.
Lowe picked up a loose ball 25 yards from goal, but his dipping half-volley passed just over the crossbar.
After a bright start, however, the visitors began to settle into their rhythm, and started to create chances of their own.
They came agonisingly close to opening the scoring in the 15h minute. Former Gateshead midfielder Paddy McLaughlin unleashed a venomous drive from the left hand side, which crashed off the post.
Minutes later, Jack Redshaw received the ball with his back to goal but his low effort was tame and Ross Coombe gathered comfortably.
Redshaw did have the ball in the back of the net in the 24th minute, after he had fired a low drive across goal into the far corner, but the linesman had his flag raised for offside.
Then, in the 36th minute, a long ball over the top was allowed to bounce, which was seized upon by Ross who was then brought down just inside the area.
The ever-reliable from 12 yards Briggs stepped up and rolled the penalty into the bottom left corner of the goal.
The home side burst out of the traps in the second half. Alex Kempster, playing against his former team, did brilliantly down the left hand side as he forced his way to the by-line, before cutting the ball back to Lowe.
The midfielder was chopped down on the edge of the area, but dusted himself down to dispatch a low-driven free-kick from the edge of the area into the bottom left hand corner.
Lowe was involved just minutes later as he slipped in Gilchrist on the right hand side of the box. He cut back inside the defender and fired a powerful shot into the right corner.
The Mariners’ second half onslaught continued just moments after the restart as Josh Gillies went close, but his 55th minute effort struck the foot of the post.
The Minstermen refused to be beaten, however, as they piled the pressure on, forcing some good defending from Shields, notably from Craig Baxter who took the full brunt of a volley from close range.
Shields thought they had added a fourth in the 80th minute as Will Jenkins’ lovely through ball was latched onto by Will McCamley, who calmly slotted past the onrushing keeper, but the winger was adjudged to be offside.
McLaughlin came close to reducing the deficit for City five minutes from time, as he forced substitute keeper Myles Boney to tip his long range effort over the bar.
South Shields: Coombe (Boney 46), Hunter, Baxter, Ross (Turnbull 72), Wade (Jenkins 46), Agnew, Gillies (Verstraaten 72), Briggs (c), Gilchrist (Osei 72), Lowe (Mason 72), Kempster (McCamley 64). Subs not used: Lockey, Thompson, Hodgson.
Goals: Briggs (pen 36), Lowe (49), Gilchrist (50).
York City: James, Kennedy, Tinkler, Newton, Spratt, Barrow, McLaughlin, Trialist, Bunn, Redshaw, Cassidy. Subs: Whitley, King, Jebson-King, Whitfield, Harrison, Dyson, Guilfoyle, Trialist, Trialist.
IMAGE: Kev Wilson.
South Shields take on York City at 1st Cloud Arena on Tuesday (7.30pm kick-off) as they step up their preparations for the new season.
A crowd of 600 is expected at the game after all tickets were sold.
The turnstiles will open at 6pm and supporters are asked to respect the club’s code of conduct, which can be read by clicking here.
Those who are not able to attend will be able to watch a stream of the game for £2 by clicking here. The pre-match show will begin at 7pm.
National League North sides Blyth Spartans and York City will visit 1st Cloud Arena after South Shields added two more fixtures to their pre-season schedule.
Blyth are the Mariners’ next opponents, with the match between the teams to take place at 3pm on Saturday, September 5.
York, meanwhile, will travel to Shields on Tuesday, September 8, with a 7.30pm kick-off.
Lee Picton and Graham Fenton’s side will complete their pre-season programme with the previously announced away fixture against another National League North outfit, Gateshead, on Saturday, September 12, with that match having now been brought forward to a 1pm kick-off.
Tickets for the Blyth and York matches will go on sale this week, with both visiting clubs to receive their own allocation of tickets to sell.
Tickets for both games are priced at £6 for adults, £4 for students and over-65s, and £2 for under-16s, although SSFC 2019-20 season ticket holders who waived their right to a partial refund will be able to claim a free ticket for the Blyth match, and priority on ticketing for the York fixture.
This further underlines the club’s gratitude to those who made such a magnificent gesture at a time of great uncertainty, and fulfills our promise of providing the option of a free ticket to two pre-season matches for all those who did so.
Those 2019-20 season ticket holders who waived their right to a partial refund can claim their Blyth tickets and buy their York tickets over the phone only between 9am and 5pm on Tuesday. The offer of free tickets to the Blyth game will expire after 5pm on Tuesday. The number to call on Tuesday is 0191 454 7800, but supporters are asked for patience as a high volume of calls is expected.
From 9am on Wednesday, remaining tickets for both matches will be made available to all other South Shields season ticket holders at a cost of £6 per game for adults, £4 per game for students and over-65s, and £2 per game for under-16s. At that stage, the tickets will be available online as well as over the phone, although the phone lines will only be open between 9am and 5pm and purchasing online will be encouraged.
Any remaining tickets will go on general sale from 9am on Thursday, with a capacity of 600 in place for both matches.
The club has also been approached by supporters regarding potential ticketing arrangements for the trip to Gateshead, but there is nothing to report at this stage. Clubs at step 2 and above in the non-league pyramid are not currently permitted to welcome spectators to games but should this change ahead of the Gateshead match, an announcement will be made.
Thank you for your continued support.