High five for Mariners af­ter vi­brant dis­play SOUTH SHIELDS 5 MAT­LOCK TOWN 0

Sunday Sun - - Non-league Football - Mark Car­ruthers

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.

PETER TAL­BOT

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