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Match Report: South Shields 3-0 Gloucester City


South Shields produced a superb performance as they cruised to a 3-0 win over Gloucester City in Vanarama National League North.


The Mariners maintained their 100% home record in convincing fashion at 1st Cloud Arena.


Paul Blackett's first competitive goal for the club gave Shields a first half lead and after Aaron Martin doubled their advantage shortly after the break, the hosts displayed their class.


Substitute Jed Abbey added some gloss to the scoreline with five minutes left as Julio Arca's side climbed to third in the early table.


With Shields navigating two games in three days, with a Monday trip to Darlington to follow, three changes were made to the team which defeated Scarborough Athletic 1-0 the previous week.


Robert Briggs, Jordy Mongoy and CJ Clarke - making his first start for the Mariners - were introduced to the line-up, and all went on to have influential roles in the South Tyneside sunshine.


It was not all one-way traffic, though, and Gloucester could have scored within a minute when they pounced on a loose ball and Harry Williams forced Myles Boney into action.


Boney made an even better stop from Kornell McDonald as the midfielder's rasping drive arrowed towards the top corner, with the Shields goalkeeper springing to his right to tip the ball over the bar.


The Mariners gradually gained control as the first half progressed and got their reward on 25 minutes.


Clarke skipped past his man on the left and passed it on to Lirak Hasani, whose piercing ball down the right of the area picked out Blackett. His low finish found its way past Zach Jeacock in the Gloucester goal as the striker got off the mark for the season.


There could have been a quickfire double when Hasani pulled a corner back to Clarke, whose strike from the edge of the box was saved.


Jeacock also stopped a Martin shot with his legs and watched a Briggs curler drift past his post, but Shields had to wait until just five minutes into the second half to stretch their lead.


Bright work down the right led to a cross from Briggs which was controlled by Martin as he nudged the ball past his defender before he nestled an angled shot into the bottom corner.


Shields had numerous chances for a third as they played some eye-catching football.


Mongoy, Hasani, Blackett and Clarke all had sighters, while Martin headed over and substitute Joao Gomes twisted and turned before unleashing a 20-yard piledriver which narrowly cleared the crossbar.


The points were sealed in style with five minutes left after a patient 26-pass move which culminated in two substitutes combining as Mackenzie Heaney powered through the centre before playing it to Abbey, who chopped the ball onto his left foot and curled gloriously into the top corner.


It was a fitting way to end proceedings for Shields as they recorded another home victory and set themselves up nicely for Monday's visit to Darlington.


South Shields: Boney, Lufudu, Adams (c), Liddle, Broadbent, Briggs, Hasani (Abbey 78), Clarke, Blackett (Gomes 74), Mongoy (Heaney 74), Martin. Subs not used: Morse, Smith.


Goals: Blackett (25), Martin (50), Abbey (85).


Attendance: 2,135.


Image: Craig McNair / ID Event Photography.

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