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Match Report: Shildon 0-5 South Shields

Lewis Alessandra notched a hat-trick as South Shields booked their place in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup with a clinical win at Shildon on Saturday.

Sam Hodgson and Dylan Mottley-Henry were also on the scoresheet in the 5-0 victory at Dean Street.

The Mariners have now won their last six games in all competitions and remain unbeaten so far this campaign.

They await the draw for the next round, which will be made on Tuesday afternoon.

Shields appeared comfortable throughout on Saturday, and opened the scoring in less than five minutes when Alessandra latched onto a ball over the top from Myles Boney, touched it past a defender and swept home from the inside-right of the area.

With confidence flowing, the Mariners could have had a second as a delicate pass by Will McGowan found Mottley-Henry, but home goalkeeper Matthew Bateman closed the angle to save.

Alessandra doubled his and Shields’ tally on 21 minutes after a slick move which culminated in a superb low cross from Conor Newton which the striker converted from close range.

The pressure was relentless from the away side and they had several opportunities to extend their advantage further before half-time, but Mottley-Henry was denied by an excellent block, Mackenzie Heaney rifled narrowly over, Alessandra clipped a shot just off target from a tight angle and Blair Adams was kept off the scoresheet at point-blank range by Bateman.

Less than a minute into the second half, though, the third goal did arrive as Alessandra pounced on a loose ball, took it round Bateman and finished into an empty net to complete his hat-trick.

It was a high-calibre performance from the Mariners and they continued to make their advantage count.

Adams fired over from a promising position after a cut-back by Heaney and on the hour mark, Shields scored again.

Hodgson had replaced Alessandra by this stage and he took less than three minutes to make an impact with a clinical finish after a header across the area by Martin Smith.

Shildon chances were rare but when they did arrive, Shields were determined to maintain their clean sheet. Three brave blocks in a matter of seconds underlined that point.

Most of the goalmouth action came at the other end and Hodgson was unfortunate not to score again when his fierce drive from distance crashed against the crossbar.

The final goal came with 20 minutes left as Mottley-Henry raced onto a ball down the left of the area and clipped it past Bateman.

The closest Shields came to a sixth was a brilliantly-struck volley from the edge of the box by Hodgson, but the woodwork again denied him as Bateman tipped his effort onto the bar.

Shields return to league action on Saturday when they host Atherton Collieries.

South Shields: Boney, Newton, Adams (c), Broadbent, Morse, Smith, Heaney (Gomes 66), McGowan, Alessandra (Hodgson 57), Briggs, Mottley-Henry. Subs not used: Doherty, Woods, Liddle.

Goals: Alessandra (5, 21, 46), Hodgson (60), Mottley-Henry (70).

Attendance: 501.

Image: Craig McNair.


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