High five for Mariners after vibrant display SOUTH SHIELDS 5 MATLOCK TOWN 0
MARINERS Park continues to be a fortress for South Shields, who romped to a comfortable win against fellow playoff challengers Matlock Town.
A lot of the talk ahead of the game had been how two of the league’s inform sides would provide a close contest. But in reality, the Derbyshire outfit were no match for their hosts and were blown away by the Mariners’ vibrant, attacking display.
South Shields wasted little time in stamping their authority on the game and their early pressure paid off when Carl Finnigan put them in front with just 11 minutes on the clock.
The striker was on hand to crash home a loose ball after Lee Mason had seen his shot cleared from the line.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when defender Dwayne Wiley turned a Mason cross into his own net, although Mariners striker Gavin Cogdon looked to have got the final touch.
But there was little doubt that former Spennymoor Town striker Cogdon had got his side’s third goal on 27 minutes as he showed his class and composure to further enhance the Mariners’ dominance.
Blair Adams was the creator as he slid Cogdon in on goal and the striker produced a delicate chip over Matlock keeper Ross Durrant.
There was almost a fourth goal on the stroke of half-time as Robert Briggs’ corner was headed against the woodwork by Gladiators defender Michael Hollingsworth.
The loose ball was cleared by the visitors to ensured that they limited the Mariners to a three-goal advantage at the break, although that was the least that Lee Picton and Graham Fenton’s side deserved after a dominant firsthalf display.
There was a crowd of over 1,100 inside Mariners Park and they gave their side a rapturous ovation at half- Carl Finnigan celebrates with his South Shields team-mates after scoring against Matlock Town time after a high quality 45 minutes of football.
There was no let-up in the pressure after the restart and Jon Shaw grabbed a fourth goal for the Mariners when he rose to meet Briggs free-kick to send a stunning header beyond Durrant and into the far-corner of his net.
Former Nottingham Forest forward Craig Westcarr came close to reducing the arrears just after the hour-mark when he diverted a cross against the far post. That proved to be temporary respite for the visitors as South Shields resumed their domination of the game.
Mason came close twice inside 60 seconds and Phil Turnbull found the side-netting after good work from Gary Brown.
But a fifth goal did finally arrive on 84 minutes and it was substitute David Foley that got it.
The forward raced on to an intricate pass from Briggs before producing a neat turn and finish beyond Durrant.
It was a goal that had all of the hallmarks of a clinical and classy performance from the Mariners as they continue to impress in their first season at step three.