South Shields shrug off floodlight failure to lift title in style

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South Shields ended their home campaign in style as they thrashed Willington 5-1 before lifting the league title last night.

However, the lights almost went out on their title celebrations, with the second half delayed by 15 minutes because of problems with the floodlights.

However, Shields shone when the match got back underway, with stunning second half strikes from Barrie Smith and Robert Briggs sealing the points.

Over 1,000 fans were at Mariners Park and saw the hosts take the lead on 21 minutesthrough Martyn Coleman, who made no mistake from close range.

Goal No 2 arrived when Robert Briggs sent in a perfect delivery with a corner from the left which was met by Daryll Hall, who nodded it into the net.

Soon after, the floodlights went out, and they were off for almost an hour.

The game continued until half-time, though, and David Foley missed a penalty when he hit an effort over after being fouled in the area.

Willington scored against the run of play through Michael Brown to get back into it but there were real fears the game was going to be abandoned because of the floodlights.

However, they came back on six minutes before the cut-off time given by the referee, to much relief.

The game took some time to get back into a rhythm, but Warren Byrne dragged it back into life on 65 minutes when he broke free on the left of the box before firing across the goalkeeper for his 31st goal of the season.

Smith was next on the scoresheet, with a sumptuous effort from 30 yards nestling in the bottom corner as he provided the goal his performance deserved.

Seven minutes before the end, Briggs got into the act with a terrific strike into the top corner from 25 yards to delight the crowd of 1,014.

Shields then lifted the league championship amid jubilant scenes at Mariners Park.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Pocklington, Smith, Riding, Hall (c) (Galpin 69), Carson, Arca (Hassan 46), Foley (Teasdale 60), Briggs, Byrne, Coleman, Turner. Subs not used: Richardson, Ramsey.

Goals: Coleman (21), Hall (32), Byrne (65), Smith (70), Briggs (83).