By Luke Vinton (@LukeVinton_)
West Allotment suffered a 5-1 defeat to high-flying South Shields, with Julio Arca grabbing a brace.
Allotment went behind from Arca’s wonderful free kick before the Argentinian grabbed his second goal with a delightful chip.
Goals from David Carson, Carl Finnigan and David Foley sealed the rout, although West Allotment pulled a goal back through Shaun Reay’s excellent finish.
With a bumper crowd at South Shields’ ground, Mariners Park, Celtic headed into the game on the back of five league defeats, while South Shields were on a 12-game unbeaten streak.
South Shields took the lead on 11 minutes through a free kick from Julio Arca. The ex-Sunderland and Middlesbrough player guided the free kick, from 20 yards out, into the top right corner and past Allotment goalkeeper Chris Bannon.
South Shields doubled their lead 17 minutes later through a moment of brilliance from Julio Arca. After a heavy cross missed the targets in the box, the ball fell to Julio Arca’s left foot on the right wing of the box.
With one touch to control the ball, Arca produced a delightful chip which looped over the head of Bannon and into the bottom corner of the net, delighting the 903 people in attendance.
The home side began the second half similarly to the first, as substitute David Carson made it 3-0 on 52 minutes. After cutting inside from the wing, Carson rifled a powerful shot from outside of the box which flew into the goal via a post.
Minutes later, Julio Arca was denied a hat-trick. After another free kick was awarded for South Shields, with the fans urging Arca to have a go, he curled the ball towards the top left corner. However, his strike cannoned off the crossbar to the disappointment of the home supporters.
Shields made it four on the hour mark after Carl Finnigan finished off a splendid move after a series of one-touch passes, which began at the halfway line, ended with Finnigan chipping the ball beyond Bannon.
West Allotment managed to reduce the deficit through a great strike from striker Shaun Reay. After a poor pass from a Shields defender, Reay latched onto the mistake before expertly guiding the ball, first time, into the top corner.
With the game almost reaching its end, David Foley managed to score Shields’ fifth. After a well judged through ball, Foley made no mistake as he powerfully poked the ball home to round off a comfortable win and continue to leave West Allotment without a win in six league matches.
Allotment manager Paul Stoneman remained positive despite the defeat. He said: “I’ve told the lads not to be too disheartened as we’ve lost to a top class outfit, who we couldn’t get close to at times.
“However, this was a bonus game for us. If we would have got anything that would be great. We need to start beating teams around us and then pick up the odd points against the top teams. Our work rate and attitude were spot on today.”
West Allotment Celtic return to league action on Friday night when they hosts FA Vase holders Morpeth Town.