Under-15s earn draw

Under-15s: South Shields FC vs Spennymoor Town FC

South Shields: Ramage, Rafferty (Capt), Andersen, Henderson, Gilchrist, McGill, Urwin, Smith, Howe, Slater, McBeth. Subs: Harrison, Daglish, Hogg.

Spennymoor: Wall, O’Rourke, Clish, Dawson, Hamilton, Jones, Grayson, Lumsden, Nesbitt, Voitnson, Cant. Subs: Wills, Carr, Thompson.

Goalscorers: South Shields – McBeth. Spennymoor – Dawson.

Report by Philip Reay

The Professional Flooring Services-sponsored South Shields Under-15s hosted Spennymoor Town at Brinkburn Playing Fields on Sunday morning. The game was preceded by an immaculately observed minute’s silence to mark Remembrance Sunday.

This was the second visit to South Shields for the young Moors. They were the opposition in a pre-season friendly, and the sides could not be separated in a superb exhibition of flowing attractive football. Conditions were somewhat different on this occasion, as the heavy rain over the previous three days had left the pitch rather heavy.

South Shields started the game on the front foot, and inside the first minute Liam Simpson McGill raced down the left flank before crossing the ball to Alex McBeth, who flicked the ball over the advancing keeper, but unfortunately the ball also cleared the crossbar by inches.

The conditions were making flowing football difficult as the ball frequently got stuck in the mud.

With the game approaching the 10th minute, the visitors had their first opportunity of the game, but Shields keeper Jack Ramage was untroubled as the Spennymoor number 5 fired his shot over the bar.

The young Mariners responded instantly as Codie Howe played the ball over the defence for McBeth, but the Shields striker was denied by a superb diving save by Ryan Wall.

Shields maintained the pressure on the visitors’ defence, and on the quarter-hour good interplay between Scott Rafferty and Howe released Sam Urwin, and he fired a cross into the box for Lewis Slater, but he headed inches over the bar.

Within minutes, again the young Mariners pressurised the Spennymoor defence. Simpson McGill won the ball in the centre of the park and raced down the left flank before sending a cross field ball to Rafferty, who collected it before beating his man and firing a shot at goal from an acute angle that was well saved by Wall.

With five minutes of the half remaining, a full length dive by Ramage in the Shields goal was adjudged to have been a back pass, and Spennymoor were awarded a free-kick inside the box. The ball was played to Sam Dawson, and he rifled the ball into the top corner of the goal to give the visitors the advantage.

The Shields management team made their first changes of the game as Sam Harrison and James Hogg replaced Howe and Rafferty.

At the start of the second half, Urwin played the ball into the path of Simpson McGill, who found McBeth, and he fired a shot inches wide of the post.

Shields maintained the pressure on the Spennymoor defence. Simpson McGill played the ball through the defence for Harrison to run on to, but Dawson reacted quickly to pluck the ball off the toes of the dangerous forward.

Harrison was in action again within a minute as he collected a ball from McBeth before firing a shot wide of the post.

On the hour, Simpson McGill again outpaced the defence on the left before sending a cross into the box. Harrison rose above the defence, but his powerful header rattled the crossbar before being hacked clear by the defence.

Inside a minute, Shields again struck the woodwork. Hogg and Simpson McGill combined on the left flank, and Hogg rifled a shot into the box that struck the post before being cleared.

The young Mariners were dominating possession, and on 66 minutes a corner on the right was floated into the box by McBeth where it was met by Howe. He directed his header beyond Wall, only to be denied by a defender positioned on the line.

With 10 minutes of the game remaining, Shields were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box. Josh Smith fired the ball at goal, but was denied as Wall tipped the ball over the bar.

A minute later, Smith played the ball into the path of Harrison, but once again he was denied by a good save by Wall.

The Spennymoor defence were well organised and were proving to be difficult to break down, but in added time South Shields eventually broke through.

Liam Andersen played the ball across the face of the goal, and McBeth fired in from close range to give the Mariners a well deserved share of the points.