Dominant South Shields eased into the next round of the Durham Challenge Cup with a resounding 5-0 win over Crook Town at Mariners Park last night.
In front of a strong midweek crowd of 349, doubles from Warren Byrne and Ben Riding, and a goal from Jonny Wightman, sealed the comfortable victory.
Daryll Hall went close early on as Ryan Graham palmed his header behind, and Shields kept up the pressure from there.
Byrne opened the scoring on 11 minutes when the superb Adam Sakr ran down the right flank before delivering a terrific delivery which the striker headed in at the back post.
Riding made it two in the 23rd minute when Wightman’s corner was headed to him 10 yards out, and he swivelled before volleying into the bottom corner.
Sakr, Robert Briggs and Byrne all went agonisingly close to making it three before Riding struck again.
This time, he stayed up field following a set piece, and then slid in an impressive low delivery from Sakr.
Shields continued their dominance in the second half in front of the watching Julio Arca, who was ineligible for the tie.
Wightman made it 4-0 eight minutes into the second half when a Graham parry broke to him inside the box on the left and he tapped the ball home.
Briggs - who did just about everything but score - struck the bar on the hour mark, while at the other end Mariners goalkeeper Scott Pocklington saved from Joe Grant.
Byrne got Shields’ fifth on 66 minutes as he latched onto a pass from substitute Dean Thexton before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting home.
Wightman and Thexton later sent efforts just wide, and Byrne almost scored his hat-trick, but his powerful shot was tipped over.
Thexton was twice denied towards the end, but Shields had done enough to seal a convincing win ahead of Saturday’s league trip to Brandon United.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Pocklington, Smith, Turner, Hall, Riding, Chapim (Heptinstall 68), Briggs (Thexton 64), Scroggins (c), Byrne, Wightman, Sakr. Subs not used: Young, Ramsey, Phillips. Goals: Byrne (11, 66), Riding (23, 31), Wightman (53).