Under-15s storm to 7-1 win
By Philip Reay
South Shields Under-15s 7-1 Redby Blues Under-15s
South Shields FC u15s: Ramage, Rafferty, Andersen, Henderson, Gilchrist, McGill, Urwin, Smith, Howe, Hogg, McBeth. Sub: Slater.
Scorers: McBeth (4), Andersen (2), Rafferty.
South Shields Under-15s started their league campaign with a comfortable 7-1 victory over Redby Blues at Brinkburn Recreation Ground.
Shields started the game on the front foot as Scott Rafferty beat his man on the right flank before playing the ball into the path of Alex McBeth, but he was denied by a good save from the Redby keeper.
On five minutes, the young Mariners were forced into the first change of the game as Lewis Slater replaced the injured Liam Andersen.
Shields maintained the pressure on the visitors’ defence, and it bore fruit on seven minutes. James Hogg brushed aside the challenge of a Redby defender before finding McBeth in space, and the Shields striker made no mistake as he fired the ball into the corner of the net.
Redby found it difficult trying to contain the Shields side, and with the game 10 minutes old, Codie Howe fashioned an opening, but his shot from the edge of the box was well saved by the goalkeeper.
Shields were in dominant mood, and as the quarter-hour approached, Howe won the ball in the centre of the park, before turning away from his marker and playing the ball wide to Rafferty. The Shields skipper rifled the ball into the top corner of the net from an acute angle to double the Mariners’ advantage.
They continued to press forward from the restart. Howe collected the ball in the centre of the park before releasing Josh Smith, who fired a shot from the edge of the box that was well saved by the Redby keeper.
On 20 minutes, in a rare foray forward only a superb last ditch challenge by Slater halted Redby’s No10 as he raced towards goal.
Despite dominating proceedings, Shields were unable to increase their advantage as first Sam Urwin and Howe combined, but Howe was unable to trouble the keeper as he fired his shot over the bar. A minute later, Liam Simpson-McGill combined with Howe, and again he failed to trouble the keeper as he fired just wide of the post.
As the game approached the 30 minute mark, Shields were awarded a free-kick wide on the left. Edward Gilchrist fired the ball into the middle of the box, and a spectacular volley by Howe flew inches over the bar.
A minute later, Shields again went close. McBeth won the ball in the centre of the park before playing the ball into the path of Rafferty. Rafferty beat his marker before firing a cross in to the box for Simpson-McGill, but he headed the ball wide of the post.
With five minutes remaining in the first half, Shields keeper Jack Ramage threw the ball wide to Urwin and he in turn found Josh Smith. Smith slipped the ball to McBeth, and he made no mistake to double his tally and give the Mariners a three-goal advantage going into the half-time break.
Shields started the second half as they had the first, and within a minute of the restart were awarded a free-kick on the half way line. Smith fired the ball into the box where it was met by Urwin, but he fired his shot over the bar.
On 45 minutes, a corner by McBeth curled towards goal, but the keeper just managed to pull the ball from under the bar and the danger was cleared.
A minute later, Shields won another corner. Smith fired the ball towards Howe, but he headed the ball just over the bar.
On 50 minutes, the Mariners further extended their advantage. Howe played the ball through the Redby defence for McBeth to run onto, and he slipped the ball past the advancing keeper to claim his hat-trick and give Shields a four-goal lead.
On the hour, they again went close. Simpson-McGill collected the ball wide on the left before finding Hogg in space, but his shot flew wide of the post.
Shields maintained the pressure on the visitors’ defence as a flowing move involving Smith, Howe and Slater ended when Slater fired a 20-yard shot over the bar.
With the second half 25 minutes old, Urwin beat his man on the left flank before crossing to McBeth, but his shot flew the wrong side of the post.
The Shields pressure was rewarded minutes later. Simpson-McGill and Hogg combined to release McBeth, and he made no mistake as he fired past the keeper to register his fourth goal of the game and put Shields five goals to the good.
On 70 minutes, only a superb save by Lewis Hart in the Redby goal prevented Smith from giving Shields a six-goal advantage.
With five minutes remaining, clever work in the Shields box by Long was rewarded with a Redby goal.
From the restart, Shields again pressed forward. McBeth outpaced the defence before finding Hogg in space, but his shot was tipped onto the bar by Hart and the danger cleared.
McBeth was proving to be a constant thorn in the side of the Redby defence, and within two minutes, could have taken his personal total for the day to six as he first fired wide from close range and then headed over the bar from a difficult angle.
As the game entered added time, Howe played the ball through the Redby defence and Andersen ran onto it before firing the ball past the despairing dive of Hart in the Redby goal.
From the restart, Shields won the ball and Gilchrist found Anderson in space, and he fired the ball in off the underside of the bar for a quick double to give Shields a 7-1 victory.