South Shields stormed to a 5-0 win as they marked their opening EVO-STIK League home game in style last night.
Shields were in outstanding form as they thrashed Brighouse Town in front of almost 1,800 fans at Mariners Park.
Carl Finnigan, Barrie Smith, Michael Richardson, Matty Pattison and Jamie Holmes were all on the scoresheet as the Mariners made it two wins out of two in their new league.
They were on top from the start, and Finnigan almost gave them the lead within three minutes, only to be denied by goalkeeper Chandler Hallwood.
He did get his second goal in as many games on the quarter-hour mark as his header from a Craig Baxter cross found its way past Hallwood.
Richardson, Holmes and Finnigan also went close within the next five minutes as Shields threatened to run riot.
Finnigan should perhaps have made it two in the 21st minute when a superb pass from Holmes split the defence and played him in, and his chipped effort came back off the post.
The Mariners had to be alert at the other end, and Smith kept them ahead with a goal-line clearance from Aaron Martin.
Richardson and Finnigan both almost scored Shields’ second, while Pattison felt he should have had a penalty after being challenged in the box, but no foul was given.
The deserved second goal finally arrived when Finnigan played the ball through to Smith, and the popular midfielder made no mistake.
Shields struggled to get going at the start of the second half, but hit their stride when Richardson scored the third, chipping in after a defence-splitting pass from Holmes.
Pattison grabbed his first goal for the Mariners on 72 minutes after being found following good play by substitute Luke Sullivan. He picked his spot and found the bottom corner.
Holmes deservedly got on the scoresheet near the end as he showed great determination to get on the end of a pass from Richardson before finding the corner.
There were further chances for Shields to make the scoreline even more impressive, while two good saves by Liam Connell preserved their clean sheet.
With two league wins under their belt, they can now look forward to starting their FA Cup campaign at home to Bridlington Town on Saturday. Kick-off is at 12.30pm.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Baxter (Nicholson 75), Callaghan, Shaw (c), Morse, Briggs (Storey 69), Smith, Pattison, Finnigan (Sullivan 59), Richardson, Holmes. Subs not used: Norton, Lough.
Goals: Finnigan (15), Smith (37), Richardson (54), Pattison (72), Holmes (78). Attendance: 1,776.