Battling Robins edged out in an 11-goal thriller at North Shields
North Shields 6-5 Blyth AFC
Blyth AFC were edged out by a single goal as they played out an 11-goal thriller against Division One outfit North Shields in a friendly, writes Andrew McDonnell.
Michael Chilton opened the scoring on 16 minutes before adding another five minutes after James Harmison headed into the bottom corner.
However, Joe Robson pulled a goal back straight after before Ben Harmison netted two tap-ins to make it 3-3 at half-time. The comeback was completed just eight minutes after the restart when B.Harmison completed his hat-trick and Gareth Bainbridge slotted home.
Blyth showed great resilience once more as Liam Hudson and an own goal from Craig McFarlane levelled the game once more.
The Robins added another though Dan Wilson as the entertaining game at Burnside School come to an end.
Jon McDonald and Ian Skinner arranged the friendly with Shields after their league game with Chester-le-Street Town was postponed.
They started brightly, as did their opponents, but it was the Braves who struck first in the match. Bobby Taylor’s shot was pushed up by Kyle Hayes, and Chilton pounced at the back post to tap home.
The Braves doubled their advantage when Cameron Fenton dug out a cross from the right and J.Harmison headed past the ‘keeper.
Chilton netted his second of the game on 28 minutes, as the striker connected with a low cross at the near post.
Shields managed to pull a goal back straight away, Wilson’s cross reached Robson at the back post and the midfielder hammered the ball into the net.
The Robins’ reduced the arrears even further five minutes from half-time. Jordan Summerly’s low cross was struck at goal by B.Harmison, Chris Bannon saved superbly, but the striker reacted quickly to prod home the rebound.
Brian Smith’s side were back level four minutes later, another low cross caught out Blyth and B.Harmison tapped home. The striker then hit the crossbar under a minute later, but the Braves managed to go into the break all square.
Shields’ remarkable comeback was complete four minutes after the restart, Wilson turned provider once more and B.Harmison had another tap in to round off his hat-trick.
The Robins netted their fifth four minutes later and the visitors were stunned. Jack Donnison’s shot took a big deflection off Bainbridge, who pounced and found the back of the net from close range.
It was then Blyth’s turn to stage a comeback in the game, starting with Hudson netting his first goal for the club – albeit in a friendly – as the striker finished clinically in the area.
On 71 minutes, Adam Harvey crossed the ball into the area from the right, Robson attempted to clear the ball, but his header struck substitute McFarlane and went into the net.
Robins struck the hammer blow, six minutes from time when another low cross was slotted home by Wilson.
* Blyth face Newcastle United Under-23s in the Senior Cup on Thursday evening.