North Shields 3 Thornaby 1: Rain-soaked Robins return to winning ways
Goals from Cam Cunningham, Kyle Patton and Gary Ormston helped the Robins return to winning ways, beating Thornaby 3-1 at a rain-soaked Daren Persson Stadium.
Shields fell behind early on when a goal line clearance cannoned into the goal off the back of a red shirt.
However, Cunningham levelled only minutes later, after rounding the keeper and converting from close range.
The Robins then took the lead through Patton, when the club’s top goal scorer finished well to beat the Thornaby keeper.
And Ormston wrapped up the three points for the Robins with a third goal midway through the second half.
The visitors almost got off to a perfect start when Ian Ward broke through on goal in the second minute, only for Paul New’s excellent challenge helping the Robins to recover.
However, only one minute later, Joe Scaife-Wheatley’s free kick wasn’t dealt with in the penalty area, with Callum Patton’s clearance deflecting off a teammate into the back of the net; handing Thornaby the lead.
Shields were able to level the score only minutes later, when Callum Patton’s excellent through ball released Cunningham on goal, leaving the young winger to round James Dawson before passing the ball into an empty net.
Cunningham almost had his second of the game in the 11th minute, only for a goal line clearance from Jordan Wilson to deny the youngster a certain goal.
With the rain worsening, the Robins caught the Thornaby defence cold and in the 21st minute, they took the lead through top scorer Kyle Patton, who calmly converted after an excellent Ormston pass.
Shields were in complete control now and in the 23rd minute, having collected a Chris McDonald cross, Cunningham smartly turned his marker before curling his shot inches wide of the crossbar.
Midway through the first half, a Nick Cassidy free kick was almost spilled by the Thornaby ‘keeper at the feet of Ormston. Luckily for the visitors, he was able to react quickly to smother the ball.
The rain was not letting up as the second half kicked off, with both teams struggling to maintain possession of the ball.
However, in the 48th minute, the Robins created the first chance of note when Callum Patton’s strike from distance flew just over the crossbar.
Thornaby knew they were still in with a chance and in the 54th minute, Adam Preston drove towards the Robins goal before his shot from the outside the box was sliced well wide.
Shortly afterwards, Shields had an excellent opportunity to extend their lead when Callum Patton’s pass allowed Ormston space to shoot, only for Dawson’s excellent reaction save to prevent the midfielder.
But from the resulting corner, after the visitors failed to clear the ball, Ormston was on hand to curve the ball past the Thornaby shot-stopper from the cente of the box.
The hosts were still surging forward in search of more goals and only a minute after their third, they almost had a fourth, but Campbell’s header, from a Cunningham cross, zipped wide.
In an effort to reduce the Robins’ lead to one goal, Thornaby striker Preston tried his luck from a long-range free kick. His shot under the wall was parried by Greg Purvis, before he smothered the ball at the second attempt.
Thornaby were pushing more men forward in search of a breakthrough and in the 73rd minute, substitute Liam Cooke’s low drive skimmed narrowly wide of the upright.
Three minutes after that, having dispossessed a Shields midfielder, the visitors streaked forward once again, with Scott Howes’ low cross not finding anyone at the back post to turn the ball in.
With time running out, Ward must have thought he was in with a golden chance of scoring Thornaby’s second of the game, only for another outstanding challenge from New to deny the striker at the last moment.
But despite the late pressure, Purvis was rarely threatened in the Robins’ goal, leaving the hosts to comfortably hold on for all three points.