Briggs goal takes Mariners into FA Trophy first round
South Shields 1-0 Colne
South Shields got their FA Trophy campaign underway with a 1-0 win over Colne FC at the 1st Cloud Arena on Saturday.
Robert Briggs scored the only goal of the game to take Shields into the draw for the first-round proper.
Both sides have history in competition games when last season Colne, who are a division below, knocked the Mariners out of the FA Cup.
South Shields kicked off and Colne had the first attempt with a half-volley blocked and cleared by Jon Shaw.
The home side were incredibly dominant from the start, keeping possession well and passing all around the pitch to build up play. On the rare occasion Colne had the ball, Shields would quickly regain possession.
Alex Kempster, was lethal down the left wing, creating lots of space and chances for the Mariners.
In the fourteenth minute, Blair Adams put a dangerous low cross into the box, which was palmed out by goalkeeper, Hakan Burton, and the resulting rebound was hit wide by Aaron Thompson.
Burton was called straight back into action, when a low Kempster cross was blasted by Jack Hindle at point blank range, forcing the Colne ‘keeper to make a stunning save.
Just minutes later, Burton pulled off another incredible save from Will McCamley. Hindle had another opportunity on the rebound, but the ball went wide.
Both sides were forced to make early substitutions in the 25rd minute, with injuries for both full-backs. Ben Unsworth replaced Hassler-Cregg for Colne and Briggs replaced Mathew Wade for Shields.
The Reds were forced to make another change soon after with Sam O’Halleran coming on for Charlie Russell.
Colne’s first real chance came just before half-time, and Mariners’ ‘keeper, Myles Boney, made a great save with the tip of his foot from an O’Halleran shot.
South Shields continued their relentless domination into the second half, and had an immediate chance at the Colne goal from a corner.
However, the Reds subsequently found themselves on a run down the middle, Jamie Cooke had options on either side, but blasted the ball over the bar.
The Mariners continued to build play from the back and eventually found their reward in the 51st minute when Briggs, on the left side of the box, curled the ball into the bottom right corner to take Shields 1-0 up.
Colne were getting more frustrated and Unsworth was booked for a crunching challenge on Kempster. Captain Lee Pugh followed soon after for bringing Hindle down.
Shields continued to press high up the field and were using the wings well to create chances.
However, tired legs started to kick in for the home side and Colne took advantage.
The Mariners’ defence became sloppy and the Reds were able to test Boney more. A long throw-in from Pugh found Harry Winstanley who smashed it over the bar. Webb-Foster also had a crack, but Boney saved comfortably.
The Reds’ best chance came in the dying minutes when Winstanley took a shot on the left side of the goal, and Boney made a spectacular save to deny the away team the equalizer.