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Match Report: South Shields 5-2 Liversedge


South Shields moved eight points clear at the top of the Pitching In Northern Premier League with an entertaining win over Liversedge on Tuesday.


The Mariners earned a fourth successive victory after a strong attacking display at 1st Cloud Arena.


Lewis Alessandra and Dylan Mottley-Henry put them two up before George Proctor pulled a goal back for the spirited visitors, who were looking to strengthen their survival hopes.


Mottley-Henry restored the hosts' two-goal advantage on the stroke of half-time and Gary Liddle made things more comfortable with a header in the second half, but Liversedge refused to lie down.


A sweetly-struck free-kick from Nick Walker handed them a lifeline heading into the closing stages, only for Mackenzie Heaney to add a delightful fifth for the Mariners in stoppage time with a stunning strike from distance.


Heaney was part of the only change to the Shields team which started the 2-0 win over Lancaster City three days earlier as he was brought in for Jordy Mongoy.


It was Liversedge who had the first real opportunity, and Myles Boney was forced to make a fine stop with his feet from Proctor in the ninth minute after he was played through on goal.


Shields' first real opening came on 18 minutes when Martin Smith slid the ball across the box for Alessandra to shoot, but he was unable to get clean contact on it.


He had another opportunity shortly afterwards, this time supplied by Heaney, and his strike went past the post.


Alessandra notched the goal he had been threatening in the 20th minute when after some patient build-up play from the hosts, he headed in Briggs' delectable back-post cross.


Heaney showed his class again as he played a fantastic ball inside to Alessandra, but he snatched at the opportunity, and the striker also whistled a strike from range just off target as he continued to be a thorn in Liversedge's side.


The Mariners kept piling on the pressure and in the 33rd minute after a flurry of shots which were blocked by the Sedge defence, Mottley-Henry was there to turn in the rebound from close range.


Against the run of play, Liversedge clawed one back as the ball fell to Proctor, who slotted it into the bottom corner from the edge of the area, providing the visitors with a glimmer of promise heading towards half-time.


That hope was quickly diminished in injury time when Shields linked up well for to score a third. Heaney came inside and laid it off to Alessandra, who crossed towards Darius Osei at the far post, Osei headed the ball across to Mottley-Henry and he turned in his second.


Kevin Phillips' team continued to push for opportunities in the second half, and created a golden one in the 55th minute when Blair Adams was played in on the left of the area and had a strike saved by the legs of goalkeeper Patrick Boyes, who also kept out the rebound from Osei.


Boyes also saved brilliantly from Liddle and Heaney as Shields tried to add a fourth, which eventually came 18 minutes from the end.


Smith was the provider as his inch-perfect corner found the head of Liddle, whose effort arrowed into the top corner.


Walker drilled in a free-kick from just outside the area to reduce the away side's deficit to two, and Liversedge showed impressive resolve as they attempted to launch an unlikely late comeback.


The final say went to the ever-lively Heaney, though, who rifled in a terrific strike from distance in stoppage time to round off a 5-2 home victory.


Shields will look to strengthen their position further when they travel to Warrington Rylands on Saturday.


South Shields: Boney, Hunter (Doherty 27), Adams (c), Liddle, Broadbent, Smith, Heaney, Briggs, Osei, Alessandra, Mottley-Henry (Gomes 74). Subs not used: Shokunbi, Mongoy, Woods.


Goals: Alessandra (20), Mottley-Henry (33, 45+3).


Attendance: 1,842.


Image: Kev Wilson.

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