Former Moors striker Paul Blackett returned to The Brewery Field to net a hat-trick as South Shields dished out a damaging National League North defeat on Tuesday evening.
The Mariners front man looked hungry for goals from the off in the rain and as well as scoring his treble, the unplayable Blackett also had a hand in the other two goals as Julio Arca’s men ran out 5-2 winners.
With Lewis Dickman still recuperating from surgery in hospital, Andy Inness took charge once more and restored James Montgomery in goal, Ben Pollock in defence and Callum Ross into midfield.
The changes looked to have added a freshness during the opening exchanges as Rob Ramshaw drove forward to feed Will Harris who dragged a shot just wide with only two minutes on the clock.
Harris got another sight on goal just four minutes later but this time his deflected strike was parried round the post by Shields keeper Myles Boney.
Shields’ first attack should probably have produced the first goal. Blackett raced away into space down the right and delivered an inviting ball across for strike partner Aaron Martin who could only scuff a shot wastefully wide.
Moors made the most of the let-off and almost immediately went in front when Harris squared the ball across from the left and Glen Taylor placed a wonderful finish inside the far corner of the net to make it 1-0.
The lead didn’t last long. On 23 minutes the visitor were level when Martin got into space on the left of the area and his low cross was turned home from close range by Blackett.
Moors responded well to the setback and Harris saw a shot parried by Bonne before Ross fired just over from the edge of the box after Shields had failed to fully deal with a right-wing corner.
John Lufudu was coming more into the game on the right and the former Moors man almost got on the scoresheet when he drove to the byline in typical fashion before his low cross took a deflection and looped up on to the bar before being cleared.
Shields went in front for the first time on the stroke of half time. Lufudu’s direct running again caused problems and when his low drive from a tight angle was blocked by Montgomery, Blackett was in the right place to fire home the rebound.
Moors needed a quick start to the second half – but they didn’t get it. With just three minutes one, Shields made it 3-1 when Blackett again raced clear down the left before finding Martin the middle who couldn’t miss from close range.
Blackett could have had a haf-trick when he got a flick on to Robert Briggs’ goalbound shot which drew a fine reaction save from Montgomery, while Taylor struck an effort too high at the other end after some good football from Moors.
Ramshaw saw a shot blocked by Boney, Harris was also denied by the visiting keeper and then Taylor sent a header off the bar as Andy Inness’ men tried to up the tempo.
However, their efforts were undone on 73 minutes when Blackett’s wicked ball in from the right was fingertipped away by Montgomery only to fall into the path of the arriving Lirak Hasani who rifled a clinical finish into the roof of the net for 4-1.
There as an air of inevitability about Blackett completing his treble and he duly did so on 81 minutes, once again in the right place at the right time to prod home from close range as Moors struggled to clear.
Taylor struck a goal back in injury time, but it was scant consolation for Moors who were left to contemplate a humbling home defeat.
Full Time: Moors 2 South Shields 5
Moors: Montgomery, Ferguson, Mbeka, Hockenhull (Anderson 56), Pollock, Staunton, Ross (McKeown 56), Ramshaw, Greenfield, Taylor, Harris.
Subs not used: Curtis, Ferguson, Fielding.
Booked: Ross (30)
South Shields: Boney, Lufudu, Liddle, Broadbent, Adams, Smith (Clarke 68), Briggs, Hasani (Heaney 79), Abbey, Blackett (James 84), Martin.
Subs not used: Mongoy, Telfer.
Referee: Ben Tomlinson
Attendance: 1,714 (452 South Shields)