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Match Report: Lancaster City 0-2 South Shields

South Shields earned a fifth consecutive victory as their impressive start to the season continued at Lancaster City on Tuesday.

The Mariners scored two goals without reply in the first half to claim maximum points at Giant Axe, with an own goal and Michael Woods’ seventh strike of the season putting them into a commanding position they did not relinquish.

Lancaster responded after the break but Shields stood firm to stretch their unbeaten opening to the campaign and move four points clear at the top of the early Pitching In Northern Premier League table.

Both teams had been out of action for a week following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, with football matches postponed across the country at the weekend as a mark of respect.

A minute’s silence was held ahead of the fixture and Shields then started in enterprising fashion, putting pressure on their opponents high up the pitch.

They were rewarded as early as the ninth minute, with Mackenzie Heaney’s whipped corner from the right striking the knee of Lancaster captain Andrew Teague and bouncing into the corner of the net.

There was a swift opportunity for the hosts to score an equaliser, but the dangerous Nico Evangelinos fired over from the right of the area.

Shields carried the greater threat and they looked set to double their lead when Woods was played in down the left of the area by Robert Briggs, but as he looked to square the ball to Heaney, his pass was intercepted.

Lewis Alessandra was denied by a smart save from Curtis Anderson and Woods slammed narrowly wide from 12 yards after a well-worked corner routine.

Woods did find the net less than a minute later when a Dylan Mottley-Henry strike was deflected into his path and the midfielder finished from close range, but the offside flag denied him.

He was not kept off the scoresheet for long, though, with the prolific summer arrival bagging the second eight minutes before half-time as he rifled in from inside the area after a flowing move.

There were fewer chances in the second half as Lancaster showed considerable improvement, and Shields goalkeeper Myles Boney preserved his side’s two-goal advantage with a fine one-handed save from an Evangelinos free-kick.

Evangelinos was the hosts’ biggest attacking weapon, but he could not find a way past Boney, with one effort clearing the crossbar and another turned around the post by Boney.

The Mariners were never flustered and saw the game out to claim another set of maximum points ahead of Saturday’s break from league action when they travel to Shildon in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

South Shields: Boney, Newton, Doherty, Liddle (c), Morse, Smith, Heaney, Woods, Alessandra (Broadbent 79), Briggs, Mottley-Henry (Hodgson 85). Subs not used: Adams, McGowan, Gomes.

Goals: Teague own goal (9), Woods (37).

Attendance: 237.

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