South Shields progressed in the Durham Challenge Cup after a resounding 6-1 victory over Washington at 1st Cloud Arena on Tuesday.
A brace from Darius Osei, accompanied by goals from Sam Hodgson, Josh Doherty, Lewis Lukeman and Will McGowan, saw the Mariners comfortably through to the second round.
Almost straight from the off, Osei hit the outside of the post. His long range lobbed effort deceived George Bellerby in the Washington net, bounced off the post and out for a goal kick. Osei came close again as his close range strike cannoned back off the crossbar.
Shields’ early pressure paid off. McGowan found the bottom corner after just four minutes as the midfielder twisted and turned on the edge of the area. His composed finish gave Bellerby no chance as it sailed into the bottom corner.
Osei made it two only moments later. Callum Ross produced a fantastic defence-splitting through ball and Osei showed great composure to take it around Bellerby and slot into an empty net.
The Shields onslaught continued as Doherty made it three after 13 minutes. Osei waltzed past Isam Mohamed and delivered a teasing ball into the box, where Doherty was waiting to half-volley home.
Hodgson could have made it four as he raced onto Jordan Hunter’s through ball, but his venomous strike at goal was well-saved by Bellerby, and the ball was tipped behind for a corner.
Osei, who was lively throughout the first half, had half a chance at goal when McGowan fizzed the ball into the forward, who turned and curled an effort towards the bottom corner, but Bellerby matched the strike and saved well.
Shields did add a fourth just after the half-hour mark. McGowan teased a corner to the back post, where Jack Bodenham was waiting to head back across goal, and Hodgson nodded in from point-blank range.
The pressure continued and Osei could have made it five. The goalscorer was causing all kinds of problems for the visitors, and guided a one-on-one effort just wide of the target after racing through on goal.
Minutes later, another chance went begging. Bellerby’s miscued clearance found Osei, but his snap shot was comfortably wide.
Washington came out of the dressing room with intent as George Rounsfell’s left-footed strike came close to finding the top corner, but sailed wide of the target.
Shields started to hit their stride once again following great link-up play between Osei and McGowan. Osei’s floated cross found Bodenham in space, and his powerful header was cleared off the line by Thomas Brugge.
Lukeman added a fifth for the Mariners midway through the half with an excellent strike. The ball sat perfectly for the young midfielder, who unleashed a left-footed effort that arrowed into the far corner. It was the perfect way for Lukeman to mark his competitive senior debut for the club.
Shields had a golden opportunity to add a sixth with 20 minutes to go. Ross played a delightful pass through to Hodgson, who was hauled down by Joe Blackbourne, and the referee awarded a penalty. Hodgson stepped up but blazed the penalty over the bar.
Moments later, the Mariners were awarded another penalty. Substitute George McArthur was brought down by Bellerby and Osei stepped up and made no mistake, adding a sixth for Shields.
In a manic 10 minutes, Washington were then awarded a penalty. Substitute Antuan Kalunga stepped up and sent Callum Dobson the wrong way, pulling one back for the visitors.
Shields are next in action against Scunthorpe United at 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday, as the Mariners look to progress to the first round proper of the Emirates FA Cup.
South Shields: Dobson, Hunter (Errington 46), Doherty (Watson 46), Bodenham, Anderson, Ross (c) (McGeorge 71), Osei, McGowan (Fletcher 71), Hodgson (McArthur 71), Lukeman, Gomes.
Goals: McGowan (4), Osei (7, pen 77), Doherty (13), Hodgson (33), Lukeman (63).
Image: Kev Wilson.