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Match Report: South Shields 0-0 Curzon Ashton

South Shields maintained their unbeaten home record in Vanarama National League North with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against Curzon Ashton.

Curzon Ashton created the better opportunities in the first half but were unable to break the deadlock, and the second half saw much of the same pattern as the Nash were unable to beat Myles Boney in the Shields goal.

The Mariners have still not conceded a goal at 1st Cloud Arena since the opening day of the season, with Boney recording his 10th successive clean sheet on home soil.

Shields made three changes from Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Southport in the Isuzu FA Trophy, with Martin Smith, Lirak Hasani and Aaron Martin coming in for CJ Clarke, Luke James and Jordy Mongoy.

The Mariners came into the game knowing a win could take them to the top of the table, depending on results elsewhere in the league.

Curzon Ashton had the better of the first half and will have been disappointed to go in at the break still level.

Despite that, the first chance of the game fell to Paul Blackett. The Mariners striker saw his shot from close range blocked after a scramble in the box.

However after that, the visitors enjoyed the better of the first half. Shields were given a scare inside the first 10 minutes with Isaac Sinclair clipping the bar with a lob over Boney from 25 yards after the Mariners gave the ball away in their own half.

Boney was then called into action by Craig Mahon, whose shot was tipped over the bar after the Nash’s player-manager had cut inside from the left-hand side.

A scramble ensued from the resulting corner, with the ball eventually falling to Devon Matthews, but the centre-back’s shot drifted wide of the South Shields goal.

Curzon Ashton were gifted a golden opportunity after a mix-up at the back left Jimmy Spencer in on goal. However, the centre forward was unable to get a shot off after rounding Boney before his cutback was cleared by Shields.

Boney was forced into a save at the start of the second half by Adam Barton, whose strike from the edge of the box was parried away.

The Mariners' first chance after the interval came in the 57th minute when John Lufudu cut inside from right and saw his shot deflected just wide.

Shields were given a massive let off just minutes later as Stefan Mols headed wide with the goal at his mercy after being left free inside the six-yard box.

The pattern of the first half continued into the second as Sinclair tested Boney - who saved well down to his left - with a shot from just outside the area.

Martin Smith came close from a free-kick, with the midfielder firing just wide after Lufudu was fouled on the edge of the area.

The game opened up in the latter stages with Shields looking dangerous on the counter attack, but the Mariners were still unable to test Cam Mason in the Curzon Ashton goal.

Shields are back in action on Saturday when they host Chester in Vanarama National League North.

South Shields: Boney, Lufudu, Adams (c), Liddle, Broadbent, Smith, Briggs (Woods 53), Hasani (Heaney 53), Abbey, Blackett, Martin (Mongoy 45+2). Subs not used: Morse, Clarke.

Attendance: 1,943.

Image: Kev Wilson.

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