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Match Report: Bishop's Stortford 2-3 South Shields

Michael Woods scored twice in the last six minutes as South Shields snatched a dramatic victory at Bishop's Stortford on Tuesday.

Paul Blackett had put the Mariners in front on 17 minutes with an excellent finish, but the home side hit back in first half stoppage time before taking the lead themselves 14 minutes before the end.

A first Shields win in nine games appeared unlikely at that stage, but Woods drew them level with a clinical finish from a short corner before completing a quickfire brace on 89 as he turned the game on its head.

The Mariners held on for a third away victory of the campaign as they climbed to ninth in Vanarama National League North.

Kyle Seymour made his senior league debut for the Mariners in place of Myles Boney, who was forced out with a minor neck injury, while Aaron Martin was brought into the team in place of Jordy Mongoy.

Seymour dealt with an Osman Sow effort on 10 minutes while at the other end, Martin struck straight into the arms of Jack Giddens.

Shields began to wrestle control and created a real opening when Blackett was played in down the right and forced Giddens into a low save.

They did not have to wait too much longer for their breakthrough, though, which arrived on 17 minutes.

A central ball over the top was latched onto by Blackett, who allowed it to drop over his shoulder before swivelling a half volley into the bottom corner for his fourth goal in as many matches.

A similar pass found Martin soon afterwards and the Shields forward outmuscled his defender before forcing a save from Giddens.

It was developing into an entertaining encounter and Bishop's were next to threaten, with Sow denied by a smothering save from Seymour after the goalkeeper raced off his line.

The hosts began to cause problems for Shields in the closing stages of the first half, and Seymour did well under pressure from Sow to prevent an equaliser.

A flick from Blackett was kept out by Giddens at the other end but much of the pressing was being done by the Blues. Sow thought he had brought his side level with a drive from the left of the box which Seymour brilliantly tipped wide.

Shields breathed another sigh of relief when a cross from the right struck the post before Seymour was barged into the upright and the ball was bundled over the line, with the referee blowing for a free-kick in the Mariners' favour.

But there was no denying the home side as they equalised in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Sow helped the ball into the path of Kane Crichlow, who buried it low past Seymour with a first-time strike.

Crichlow could have scored again before the half-time whistle was blown, but he dragged wide when played in down the left of the area.

The start of the second half was quiet in comparison until Shields burst into life on 57 minutes. Robert Briggs' free-kick was flicked on by Martin Smith and almost turned in by Martin at the back post.

Teenage forward Dan Savage was brought on just after the hour mark and he had two opportunities almost immediately, but was unable to get either on target.

Woods was denied by Giddens at the near post and Shields looked the more likely team to score the third goal, but they were hit by a sucker punch 14 minutes before the end.

The dagger blow was struck by Darren Foxley as he broke away down the left of the area and fired in to give Bishop's the advantage.

Shields remained patient and continued to create opportunities before making it 2-2 with six minutes left.

A short corner was worked by Briggs to Mackenzie Heaney, who laid it off for Woods to clinically finish from 10 yards.

Woods was the hero again on 89 minutes as he turned the match in Shields' favour, working the ball from his right foot to his left before beating Giddens with another low strike.

There was still time for Blackett to fire against the post after being played in down the right, but the Mariners had already struck the decisive blow.

Their first victory under Elliott Dickman and Lee Picton was a hugely welcome one, and they will aim to build on it when they travel to Alfreton Town in their next game on Saturday, January 20th.

South Shields: Seymour, Clarke, Adams (c), Liddle, Broadbent, Smith, Briggs, Abbey (Heaney 71), Woods, Blackett, Martin (Savage 61). Subs not used: Mongoy, Fletcher, Sloan.

Goals: Blackett (17), Woods (84, 89).

Attendance: 290.

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