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Match Report: Spennymoor Town 2-5 South Shields

South Shields enjoyed a night to remember as they put Spennymoor Town to the sword with a scintillating performance at the Brewery Field, with Paul Blackett netting a hat-trick.

The Mariners recovered from going an early goal behind to win 5-2 in the North East derby, with Blackett scoring three times against his former club.

Aaron Martin and Lirak Hasani were also on the scoresheet for Julio Arca's side, who recorded their second away victory in Vanarama National League North.

There were three changes made to the Shields team which started the 1-0 defeat at Southport three days earlier, with John Lufudu, Robert Briggs and Aaron Martin brought into the starting line-up.

Spennymoor created an opportunity inside the opening minute as they won possession inside the Shields half and Rob Ramshaw found Will Harris, who dragged wide from the right of the area.

The Mariners responded instantly to threaten a goal themselves, with Briggs combining well with Blackett before the former Spennymoor forward struck his effort straight at James Montgomery.

Shields had a golden chance to open the scoring on 13 minutes when Briggs set Blackett away down the right and he squared brilliantly to strike partner Martin, who could only skew wide from close range.

Spennymoor punished that miss immediately as they broke down the left and Harris played the ball back to Glen Taylor, who clinically slammed it into the corner of the net.

A strong response was essential for Shields and they quickly created two openings to level, but Jed Abbey's shot was blocked and Blackett's low effort was well held by Montgomery.

They got their reward midway through the first half when Martin broke away down the left of the area and fired a ball across goal which was prodded in by Blackett against his former club.

Moors could have restored their advantage within a minute as Harris' strike from inside the area was pushed wide by Myles Boney after a deflection.

Ex-Shields midfielder Callum Ross also had a sight of goal, but his effort from the edge of the area after a half-cleared corner cleared the crossbar.

The Mariners were inches away from taking the lead nine minutes before half-time. A period of pressure led to a cross from Lufudu which dropped towards goal and was headed against the crossbar by a home defender.

Lufudu was proving to be a thorn in his former club's side and he created the goal which put Shields in front a minute before half-time, beating his man down the right of the area before his low ball was cleared as far as Blackett, who rifled his second of the night into the roof of the net.

Shields picked up where they left off in the second half and doubled their advantage less than three minutes after the restart.

Blackett this time turned provider as he raced away down the left and put it on a plate for Martin to slide in from close range.

Martin was producing an outstanding centre forward's performance and he threatened to grab a quickfire double when he charged into the box, only for his shot to be deflected wide.

Montgomery denied Blackett a hat-trick with a tremendous reflex save after the striker got a toe on Briggs' goalbound effort.

The chances kept coming and Blackett had another opening before seeing his shot blocked. He retrieved the loose ball and picked out Martin, who headed over.

Spennymoor were never out of it, though, given the firepower at their disposal.

They went close to pulling one back when Ramshaw was played in and his low strike was brilliantly saved by the foot of Boney. The hosts recycled possession and Taylor headed against the bar.

Blackett and Martin had linked up superbly all night and they combined again to work another opening, only for the latter's strike to drift off target.

Shields notched the fourth goal they had been threatening with 17 minutes remaining and again Blackett was at the heart of it. His low ball across the area was parried by Montgomery to Hasani, who blasted it into the roof of the net.

Blackett again could have completed his hat-trick in the next attack as he broke from left to right and fired narrowly over.

He finally got the third goal he richly deserved on 81 minutes when substitute Mackenzie Heaney's corner was headed down by Tom Broadbent and hit home by Blackett from close range.

Substitute CJ Clarke almost scored a stunning sixth for a rampant Shields, but his strike from an acute angle went narrowly wide.

Taylor pulled one back deep into stoppage time for Spennymoor, but that did little to dampen Shields' celebrations.

The Mariners take a break from league action on Saturday when they head to Southport in the Isuzu FA Trophy.

South Shields: Boney, Lufudu, Adams (c), Liddle, Broadbent, Smith (Clarke 67), Briggs, Hasani (Heaney 79), Abbey, Blackett (James 84), Martin. Subs not used: Mongoy, Telfer.

Goals: Blackett (23, 44, 81), Martin (48), Hasani (73).

Attendance: 1,714 (452 away).

Image: Kev Wilson.


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