FIVE-STAR MARINERS FEEL RIGHT AT HOME!
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: ★★★★★
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