Match Report: South Shields 2 (Cogdon [’86], Arca [90+3′] – 0 Goole AFC

South Shields had to wait against whipping boys Goole AFC to get a win, but they saw it out in the end.

It took until the 86th minute for substitute Gavin Cogdon to open the scoring.

They doubled their lead in stoppage time. Julio Arca, another substitute, converted from the penalty spot.

The home side dominated the first half and created a number of opportunities. Michael Richardson came closest to opening the scoring when his bold chip was tipped onto the crossbar on 6 minutes. The ricochet allowed Jamie Holmes to snatch at it but put the ball wide.

Goole looked better than their position at the bottom in the table would suggest, despite being dominated in midfield and losing the physical and aerial duels.

South Shields saw plenty of the ball, but Goole was largely organised out of possession. They were impotent creatively from the little of the ball they had, and were reduced to a series of corners late into the half, but they were ably dealt with by the Shields defence.

One such corner lead to Shields countering, a move started out by the excellent distribution of keeper Liam Connell to the wing. The move couldn’t be finished off by Matty Pattison, which was becoming a recurring theme of the evening.

The Mariners started the second half with more impetus, and it felt like a matter of time before Shields would open the scoring, but made hard work of it and were profligate in front of goal.

The majority of the half was spent camped in the opposition half, but the league leaders had their hearts in their mouths  when Goole’s former Leeds United academy prospect Piteu Crouz unleashed a rocket from outside the box to call Connell into action.

Ultimately the renewed vigour of South Shields told, as Cogdon, who replaced Luke Sullivan, latched onto a defence-splitting through ball, rounded the keeper, and slotted home late in the game. It was uncharacteristic from Goole to allow themselves to be caught out in such a manner as they spent the preceding 85 minutes defending deep in their half.

Any lingering doubts were extinguished in stoppage time as Goole were reduced to ten men when Goole midfielder Macauley Parkinson handled inside the box. Julio Arca put away the resulting penalty to keep South Shields top of the league.

Attendance: 1,482.