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Five-star show as SSFC Women make it two from two

South Shields Women extended their stay at the top of the table after another five-star performance away against Redcar Town - a superb 5-0 victory.

Sophie Greener grabbed two goals early on for the Mariners before Jaz Elliott-Wood complimented the scoreline a few minutes later.

Eve Gatens bagged a brace in the second half as Shields ramped up the heat on a Sunday afternoon which had a bit of everything in it.

The side which brushed past Hull United 4-0 last week was minimally changed: Alliyah Ali and Jade Dryden both started while Ellie White was named on the bench, and Meg Archbold was taking part in the Great North Run so missed out.

It felt at times like Shields were playing with a clear identity and that is certainly a testament to the work being put in at training during midweek.

The team created chances straight from kick-off, and even before Greener gave South Shields the lead a handful of chances could have gone their way.

Becki McMahon was through on goal just minutes into the game, but she couldn’t slot it past the Redcar keeper.

The lead came when Gatens cut a through ball to Greener, left one-on-one against Redcar’s goalkeeper, and she made no mistake.

Her far-post strike from inside the 12-yard box stunned the opponents and gave Shields a richly deserved lead.

One became two quite quickly, when Nat May launched an effort which hit the crossbar - before falling to Greener who waited perfectly for her second chance, and goal, of the game.

In between the two goals, meanwhile, was an audacious free-kick attempt by upcoming goalscorer Jaz Elliott-Wood, whose strike whacked the crossbar as well.

And before too long Shields stretched their lead once more.

Gatens swung a typical tremendous delivery in, which met Elliott-Wood, on hand just like in training earlier this week, to score with her head.

A rare defensive lapse presented Redcar with their strongest chance all afternoon, but their resulting shot was aimed at the side netting and landed off-target.

The break came and went but Shields didn’t change one bit.

They continued to craft chances, including one combination between Greener and May which, again, slammed the crossbar.

Shields got their deserved fourth when Greener danced through Redcar’s defence, which left Gatens through on ball.

She was able to flick it into the back of the net following a few impressive saves on Redcar’s part, which evoked shades of the game’s opener in terms of how it was played.

Mariners keeper Scarlett Gowans was on guard to protect any chances by Redcar if and when they came, but she had very little to do all afternoon.

And rounding off the game Gatens made it five. A clear lay-off from Emery, orchestrated beforehand by captain McMahon, gave Gatens a chance on a plate which she delivered.

Next for the lasses is Wallsend BC away from home as the team look to maintain their strong start to the NERWFL Premier Division campaign.

South Shields Women (starting line-up by numerical order): Gowans, Ali, May, Greener, Legg, Gatens, Dryden, Wootten, McMahon, Norton, Elliott-Wood. Subs: Innes, Emery, White, Walker, Foster.

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