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Match Report: Atherton Collieries 0-2 South Shields

South Shields produced an outstanding away performance as new signing Ade Shokunbi starred in a 2-0 win at Atherton Collieries on Saturday.

Debutant Shokunbi broke the deadlock in the first half and substitute Lewis Alessandra added a second late on to secure a deserved three points for the Mariners.

Kevin Phillips' side are behind leaders Hyde United on goals scored, having played four games fewer.

They faced a pre-match blow when Dillon Morse was ruled out on the morning of the game, which prompted a switch in formation as Shields went four at the back.

Shokunbi was introduced to the team a week after joining the club and he was joined in the line-up by Dylan Mottley-Henry, who replaced Mackenzie Heaney.

The away side quickly established control, pinning their opponents back. An early half-opening saw Jordy Mongoy shoot wide from 20 yards after drifting inside from the left.

The Mariners dominated in terms of territory and were rewarded on 18 minutes when Jordan Hunter sent in a left-footed cross from the right which was pounced on by Shokunbi, whose effort was parried by the feet of goalkeeper Owen Mooney. The ball fell back to Shokunbi and this time he speared it past Mooney to open his account for his new club.

It was a warranted goal for Shields and Tom Broadbent attempted to make it a quickfire double with a opportunist free-kick from the halfway line which narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Atherton had a decent spell as the game passed the half-hour mark, but were unable to test Myles Boney in the Shields goal.

Scott Bakkor had a header deflected wide, Luca Defreitas-Hansen skewed an effort off target from the edge of the box and Bakkor dragged a shot past the post from 20 yards.

It was the Mariners who ended the first half the stronger, though, with Darius Osei testing Mooney with a strike from distance and Blair Adams firing wide from similar range.

They picked up where they left off at the start of the second half, and could have doubled their advantage when Shokunbi was found on the right of the area and had a low shot saved by Mooney's foot.

Osei and Mongoy were narrowly off target with headers and Robert Briggs had a free-kick kept out by Mooney before the game entered something of a lull, with Shields in control.

A second goal felt important, and it arrived a minute from the end to halt any possible Shields nerves.

Briggs struck an effort from 20 yards which Mooney pushed to the feet of Alessandra, who finished well from an acute angle to settle the encounter.

The Mariners will look to further strengthen their position when they host Marske United on Tuesday.

South Shields: Boney, Hunter, Adams (c), Liddle, Broadbent, Smith, Briggs, Shokunbi (Woods 72), Osei, Mottley-Henry (Heaney 90+4), Mongoy (Alessandra 79). Subs not used: Doherty, Gomes.

Goals: Shokunbi (28), Alessandra (89).

Attendance: 401.

Image: Kev Wilson.


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