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Match Report: Shildon 0-4 South Shields

A dominant South Shields returned to winning ways at Shildon on Saturday.

All four of the Mariners' goals in the pre-season friendly were scored by Academy graduates, with Joao Gomes netting twice in the first half before Sam Hodgson and James McGeorge added their names to the scoresheet.

It was the Mariners' second win of pre-season as they continue to prepare for life in the Vanarama National League North.

They were relentless at Dean Street, creating opportunities aplenty in their search for goals.

Julio Arca’s side found the breakthrough on 12 minutes when they won the ball high up the pitch and Gomes received it with his back to goal before turning and firing into the roof of the net.

Gomes and John Lufudu both went close to doubling Shields’ advantage and the attacks continued, with Robert Briggs, Gomes, Hodgson and Paul Blackett all denied by blocks.

Blackett had a number of first half openings but was frustrated in his efforts to find the net by a series of saves.

Hodgson headed a presentable chance over but the Mariners did find goal number two shortly after the half-hour mark, with Gomes sliding home a low cross from Blackett.

Shields continued their dominance into the second half and Hodgson was narrowly off target twice in the early stages of it.

Briggs skewed a shot not far wide from distance and similar long range efforts from the vice-captain and Will McGowan also threatened the hosts.

The Mariners had an increasingly youthful look as the half progressed, with four Academy graduates introduced from the bench.

They all impressed as Shields probed for further goals, and it was two former Academy players who combined for goal number three.

After a patient passing move, Will Jenkins provided the crucial pass as he threaded the ball through for Hodgson, who clinically rolled it past the goalkeeper.

Jenkins was playing with great confidence and twice went close to getting on the scoresheet himself, once having a shot saved before later firing into the side netting.

The fourth and final goal came five minutes from the end, and again it was two Academy graduates who linked up to score it.

Left-back Bryan Taylor played the ball back to McGeorge, who arrowed a low effort into the bottom corner from 20 yards to round off the scoring.

There was one chance for number five, but Jenkins’ strike from 20 yards was well held by the goalkeeper as Shildon avoided a further concession.

Shields have now won two and lost two of their pre-season fixtures, and they are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Northern Premier League side Whitby Town.

The Mariners will then finish their friendly programme with home matches against Harrogate Town on Saturday, July 22nd and Gateshead on Friday, July 28th.

South Shields: Boney (Seymour 62), Lufudu, Adams (c) (Taylor 70), Broadbent (Liddle 46), Marriott, Smith (McGowan 62), Briggs, Mongoy, Gomes (McGeorge 70), Hodgson, Blackett (Jenkins 62).

Goals: Gomes (12, 32), Hodgson (75), McGeorge (85).

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