North Shields 1-2 West Auckland Town
Two second-half goals from Amar Purewal saw West Auckland end their six-match winless run in Division One with a 2-1 victory against North Shields.
Purewal opened the scoring on 50 minutes slotting the ball beyond Greg Purvis before adding his second on 67 minutes with a powerful left-footed finish.
Gary Day pulled one back for the Robins with 12 minutes remaining via a tap in following a poor clearance from Shane Bland.
Though West stood firm and held on for all three points to climb up to seventh in the Division One table with 22 points from 14 matches.
It was a chilly afternoon at the Daren Persson Stadium as both sides were eager in making a positive start.
Inside the first five minutes, Alex Francis found some space on the edge of the area though he could only curl his right-footed effort inches wide.
Despite controlling the early stages, there was to be some disappointment for West as Danny Parker picked up a knee injury and was forced to go off with Jamie Cobain coming on to replace him.
The hosts had to wait until the 20th minute before having their first sight at goal as Day’s determined solo run saw him drag his shot narrowly past the left-hand post.
West responded with a great chance just three minutes later as Adam Mitchell’s corner fell into the path of Thomas Price who volleyed just wide with Purvis rooted to the spot.
In the 34th minute, West had another opportunity to take the lead as Mitchell’s first time cross found Adam Burnicle who could only cushion his header just past the post as the Robins were struggling to get a foothold in the game.
Moments before half-time following some instinctive footwork, Mitchell set himself up nicely as his thumping right-footed effort was a whisker away from breaking the deadlock as North Shields weathered the storm to get to the interval on level terms.
Five minutes after the restart, West’s perseverance paid off as they took the lead through Purewal, who raced through on goal, keeping his composure and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner with a huge sigh of relief from the technical area.
In the 67th minute, West doubled their lead as Purewal added his 11th of the season with an impressive left-footed strike after a clever lay-off from Mitchell to give Purvis no chance.
Gary Forrest’s side were in the ascendancy controlling the tempo of the game and frustrating the hosts in keeping possession.
However, the Robins set up a nervy finish as an in-swingingcross was parried by Bland into the feet of Day, who couldn’t miss from just a few yards out with a simple tap in.
Heading into stoppage-time, Nathan Fisher almost made it 3-1 only to be kept out at close range via a good block from Purvis.
Next up for West is a league cup second round tie against Dunston UTS at the Wanted Stadium on Tuesday evening (7:30).
North Shields – Purvis, Donnison, Summerly, Hall, Coppen, Hughes (c), McRoberts, Ormston (Taylor, 73), Day, Forster, Carr (Johnson, 73)
Subs not used – McNamara, Spooner, Cunningham
West Auckland – Bland, Morris, Price, Parker (Cobain, 14), Hunter, Francis, Portas (Dodds, 72), Snaith (c), Burnicle(Fisher, 75), Purewal, Mitchell
Subs not used – McKeown, Coulson
Goals – North Shields – Day (78), West Auckland – Purewal (50, 67)
Referee – Asa McDonough
Attendance – 201
Report by Harry Crowe
Photo by Andy Mitchell.