The Non-League Football Paper - - SATURDAY MATCH CENTRE - By Ja­son But­ton

AN­OTHER dom­i­nant South Shields per­for­mance on home soil saw in-form Mat­lock Town swept aside at Mariners Park.

Shields had the game in the bag af­ter they opened up a three-goal lead at the half­way stage be­fore Dil­lon Morse and David Fo­ley added fur­ther goals af­ter the break to put the Gla­di­a­tors to the sword.

South Shields re­main im­pe­ri­ous at Mariners Park, where they re­tained their im­pres­sive 100 per cent home record in the league.

“I thought we were fan­tas­tic,” said Shields joint-man­ager Lee Pic­ton. “It was one of our strong­est per­for­mances of the sea­son.

“We feel com­fort­able at home in terms of the sur­face. We know it re­ally well and the at­mos­phere too.

“I'm ob­vi­ously de­lighted. We had a hard week get­ting knocked out of the FA Tro­phy. We had some dis­cus­sions with the play­ers and we got the per­fect re­sponse from them.

“It could have been even better. We were waste­ful in some sit­u­a­tions, so it could have been more than five.”

Shields opened the scor­ing early on thanks to Carl Fin­ni­gan, be­fore a Dwayne Wi­ley own goal and a Gavin Cog­don chip em­pha­sised their first-half dom­i­nance.

Morse put the game be­yond doubt with a sec­ond­half header be­fore Fo­ley com­pleted the scor­ing with a sim­ple fin­ish six min­utes from time.

It took just 11 min­utes for Fin­ni­gan to score. Lee Ma­son had a shot cleared off the line by Adam Yates but the striker was on hand to fire in the re­bound.

Ma­son was in­volved in the sec­ond too. This time, af­ter beat­ing the Mat­lock offside trap, his low cross saw Wi­ley turn the ball into his own goal.

The vis­i­tors con­tin­ued to strug­gle and they were un­able to make in­roads into the home de­fence.

The third came through Cog­don who, af­ter be­ing played through by Blair Adams, put a de­light­ful chip over Ross Dur­rant.

Shields’ dom­i­nance went on and they scored their fourth seven min­utes into the sec­ond half when Morse headed home a Rob Briggs free-kick.

The Gla­di­a­tors’ 11-game un­beaten run was in tat­ters. Cleve­land Taylor saw a free- kick fly over the bar as they searched for a con­so­la­tion goal but were un­able to deal with Shields’ im­pres­sive pass­ing game in front of a four-fig­ure crowd at Mariners Park.

Sub­sti­tute Fo­ley com­pleted the rout, sliding a shot into the bot­tom cor­ner from eight yards to end a good af­ter­noon’s work for the South Ty­nesiders.

Mat­lock man­ager Dave Freck­ling­ton was hum­ble in de­feat: “We were beaten by the better team. I have no ar­gu­ments about that.

“We knew the way they played at home but the way we de­fended in the first half we didn’t deserve any­thing from the match.

“I think Shields took their foot off the gas a lit­tle in the sec­ond half.”

STAR MAN: Gavin Cog­don (Shields) ENTERTAINMENT: ★★★★★

PICTURE: Shut­ter Press

WHOOPS! Dwayne Wi­ley slides the ball past his own keeper to put South Shields 2-0 up, while Gavin Cog­don is con­grat­u­lated af­ter scor­ing, in­set

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