Under-18s adapt to new league

South Shields’ Under-18s team is starting to find its feet in the Durham County FA League.

The side – which won the treble last season – has taken the step up this term, and although they lost their first two games of the season to Seaham Red Star and Darlington 1883, they have adapted to their new division well.

They followed up a 7-0 win over Craghead FC with a 4-1 victory against Ryhope CW, and they play away to Brandon United on Saturday.

On Wednesday, they will travel to Lambton Street FC, and will follow that up with a home tie against Norton and Stockton Ancients.

That game may yet be rearranged for a Monday night due to a cricket final at Harton and Westoe Miners’ Welfare Ground.

Coach Kevin Bolam said: “We have introduced seven new players, so the side is very much in transition, and the major factor is we are an Under-17s side playing in an Under-18s league.

“It’s a step up for the lads, but their football education will be better for it.

“We will hopefully see the benefits from it in the next couple of years with some getting an opportunity with our first team.”