Shildon pay the penalty at Marske

Marske United's Robert Dean saves Matty Roberts' penalty. Photo: Martyn Tweddle.
Marske United's Robert Dean saves Matty Roberts' penalty. Photo: Martyn Tweddle.

In a fixture played at Billingham Town’s Bedford Terrace due to the unplayable condition of Marske United’s home ground, Shildon came within a penalty save of inflicting damage to the FA Vase quarter finalists and title chasers’ league hopes.

Regular penalty taker, Matty Robson saw his spot kick saved by Marske’s Robert Dean, who pulled off a string of superlative saves to frustrate the Railwaymen.

Shildon dominated the majority of the game, assisted by a tentative Marske side mindful of their FA Vase quarter final tie coming up this Saturday (24th February) at Bracknell Town.
The home side opted for a defensive tactic, looking to block the path to goal without committing to any tackle that might result in exclusion from the FA Vase squad.

However they remained dangerous on their occasional forays forward and two moments, exemplifying each side’s tactical approach, would decide the game.

Shildon clearly predicted the home side’s cautious approach ahead of an important cup tie and adopted an attacking approach to their game.

In the 16th minute, a quickly taken free kick sent Matty Robson into the box and as he twisted and turned his way to goal, Lee Brockbank’s lunging tackle took him to ground for an undisputed spot kick.

Shildon continued to dominate possession but their season-long inabilty to convert from the numerous chances they create would again haunt them in this fixture.

Robson rose to take the kick himself and could not be faulted for his technique. Neither, though, could Dean in the Marske goal, stretching to his left to make a one handed stop.

The rebound returned to Robson but in adjusting for the shot he lost his balance on the soft playing surface and the effort with his weaker foot skewed wide.

Shildon continued to dominate possession but their season-long inabilty to convert from the numerous chances they create would again haunt them in this fixture.

That said, they could count themselves unfortunate not to be ahead at the break, but a momentary lapse of concentration as the second half got underway would ultimately prove their undoing.

Perhaps expecting a similar pattern to the first half’s play, the Railwaymen let down their guard and were caught by an immediate Marske break in the opening minute.

Andrew Stephenson evaded a challenge on the edge of the box to feed Danny Earl, whose effort was well saved by the outrushing Liversedge in the Shildon goal.

The ball rebounded to Peter Bulmer whose instinctive strike from 16 yards arrowed into the side netting for the game’s only goal.

Having found themselves ahead, the match reverted to its previous flow with Marske sitting resolutely behind the ball, closing gaps across the field.

When Shildon were able to penetrate the 18 yard box, they were unable to find the final, decisive ball that would reward them with any positive result from the game.

The disappointed visitors drop once more to 6th position in the table, overtaken by local rivals, West Auckland Town.

But if there is any solace to be taken from that by the Railwaymen, it will be that West thumped Shildon’s Durham Challenge Cup semi-final opponents, Consett 5-1 in the process.

Ahead of that cup tie next midweek (on Tuesday 27th February at Belle View) Shildon entertain fourth-bottom Penrith at Dean Street on Saturday (24th February) in what will Kyle May’s return to the club he left to take charge of the Blues.

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