South Shields Women’s dreams of finishing second came tumbling on Sunday as they lost 4-1 to Redcar Town Ladies at 1st Cloud Arena.
The game was settled over 20 minutes during the first-half, which saw Mary Corbyn bag a hat-trick, while Jessica Round got herself on the scoresheet.
Shields got one back through Lily Walker early into the second half but the damage was done long before the break meaning an unlikely comeback never materialised.
Corbyn got her first goal of the match in the 12th minute when she tussled past Alliyah Ali in a quick counter-attack before slotting coolly beyond keeper Scarlett Gowans who couldn’t get a foot to it.
Redcar were unlucky not to double their advantage right away, after Corbyn squared the ball to Tiana Hill who was unable to strike cleanly into the open net.
But they didn’t have to wait long until then, as in the 23rd minute, Hill played nicely with Round who impressively looped her shot above Gowans into the top-hand corner of the net.
They weren’t done there as minutes later Corbyn grabbed her second. Monica Innes’ attempted clearance found Hill who played a delightful ball through to Corbyn, who managed to beat the offside trap and palm the ball into the bottom right corner.
Redcar found their fourth three minutes later (in the 30th minute) when Corbyn saw-off late pressure from Megan Archbold to angle herself perfectly for a well-timed shot which Gowans couldn’t reach.
Shields came closest in the first-half from a 36th minute free-kick, when Archbold’s swing looped above the Redcar defence, giving Walker a chance from in the box to tap it past their keeper. Her touch was a little heavy and the ball went out of play.
After the restart Shields were considerably better but it wasn’t enough to mount a four-goal deficit.
In the 50th minute however, Becki McMahon saw off Zara Atkinson and played the ball towards Walker who was standing on the edge of the box, ready to smash one into the bottom corner to grab Shields’ only goal of the afternoon.
And while there were chances thereafter, little threatened to change the unassailable scoreline.
Shields are next in action away against Alnwick Town Juniors next Sunday (2pm kick-off) to round up the 2022/23 NERWFL Premier Division campaign.