North Shields boss Graham Fenton hailed the performance from his players after they began their defence of the FA Vase with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Ashington at the Daren Persson Stadium on Wednesday evening.
A delighted Fenton said: “First and foremost we were glad to get the game on. The weather has been awful and we haven’t been able to do any work on the pitch.
“But I thought it was a thoroughly disciplined, hard-working and clinical performance from ourselves, and I was really, really pleased with it.
“After we scored early through Ben Richardson, I thought Ashington had quite a bit of the ball without really threatening much, and we didn’t maintain possession as well as we normally do.
“We went a little bit long as they were looking to press us, but once we got through that period of ten to 15 minutes we settled into the game, started keeping the ball a little bit better, and we opened Ashington up a few times, to be honest, with Conor Grant making some decent saves to keep the score down a little bit.”
Fenton revealed that the talk in the dressing room at half-time was to get another goal, which came in the 50th minute from John Parker.
“It’s always difficult when you come away from home and are a goal down at the start of the game and concede another at the beginning of the second half,” he said.
“That’s what we talked about and planned at half-time - of not coming out and being happy with the first half performance but going again and trying to get another goal.
“We did that and at the end Ashington had to over commit a little bit and there were spaces to exploit and I thought we did that particularly well.”
Fenton is now looking for more consistency from his outfit, whose reward for their victory is a home tie against Runcorn Town on December 12.
“Ashington are a really good team,” he said.
“They have shown that recently with an unbeaten run, yet we have really gone and put them to the sword. We are delighted with that.
“Now it’s all about us showing levels like that on a more consistent basis, then we will be happy.
“We will watch our opponents Runcorn, who are doing OK in their league.
“I’m sure they would have had a representative here in the crowd to kill two birds with one stone, as it were.
“Hopefully they will have seen a performance which will make them a bit wary of us.”