South Shields are league champions after win at Ashington

David Foley
David Foley

South Shields were crowned Northern League Division One champions after a 4-1 win against Ashington.

Three goals inside the first 20 minutes saw the Mariners coast to the championship.

David Foley bagged a quickfire brace and Michael Richardson was also on target as Shields made it 33 wins out of their last 34 games.

After a tentative start, the visitors broke the deadlock on 12 minutes. A quick throw-in by Robert Briggs released Foley in the inside right if the box and he rifled a low volley past Conor Grant and just inside the far post.

That opened the floodgates. Briggs broke a flat Ashington back four and Foley raced through, waltzed around the advancing Grant and walked the ball into the net.

And on 20 minutes the game was won, and the title sewn up. Foley caused confusion in the home defence as he tried to latch onto a long ball, Grant collided with a defender as he tried to head clear, and Richardson calmly lobbed the ball into an unguarded net from 30 yards.

After that, the game went somewhat flat. Shields shifted down into second gear as they looked to conserve energy.

Ashington were the better side after the break and former Mariner Andrew Bulford went close to pulling a goal back against his old side.

The Colliers got a deserved consolation on 82 minutes when substitute Ryan McGorrigan flicked past Liam Connell but Gavin Cogdon raced through in injury time to fire home and seal the title.

South Shields: Connell, Smith, Callaghan (Storey), Shaw, Lough, Arca (Holden), Briggs, Phillips (Petrache), Richardson, Cogdon, Foley. Subs not used: Jameson, Stephenson.