Academy youngsters progress with five-star display at Mansfield
South Shields progressed to the fifth round of the National League Under-19 Alliance League Cup with a superb 5-2 win at Mansfield Town on Wednesday.
The young Mariners have been in terrific form and continued that with a fine showing in Nottinghamshire.
Lee Picton and Graham Fenton’s side were in command in the first half, racing into a 4-1 lead.
Goals from Sam Hodgson, David Allasan, Olly Scott and Ethan Biwer did the damage as Shields took what appeared to be an unassailable advantage into the second half.
Mansfield responded well after the break, but a goal from substitute Dom Minchella wrapped up an impressive victory for the Mariners as they marched into the next round.
Picton was satisfied with the performance of his team.
He said: “We played some really attractive stuff at times, particularly in the first half.
“We led 4-1 at half-time and unfortunately allowed our levels to drop a little bit in the second half, but we still had enough to see out the victory.
“Overall it was a very pleasing performance and one we can take great heart from.
“For us to travel that far and come away with a result like this is brilliant.
“Fingers crossed we get a good home draw in the next round to give us the best possible opportunity of progressing further.”
SSFC Academy team to face Mansfield Town: Bramley, Biwer, Devine, Bexton, Onarbay, Lockey, Thompson, Scott, Hodgson, Guy, Allasan. Subs: Patterson, Elcoate, Minchella, Colquhoun.
Goals: Hodgson, Allasan, Scott, Biwer, Minchella.
The club’s Under-19s are also in fine form in the league, and sit third in the table heading into their next fixture, away to Eccleshill United on Wednesday, January 30.
They are 11 points behind leaders Guiseley with three games in hand, and six points behind second-placed Gateshead, who have played four more games.
The young Mariners’ most recent outing in the league saw them come from behind to defeat York City 2-1 at Silksworth Sports Complex on Wednesday, January 9.
After falling behind, Max Cowburn drew Shields level on 73 minutes to set up a grandstand finish.
The young Mariners finally got their rewards against impressive opposition when Sam Hodgson netted the winner 13 minutes from the end as Shields leapfrogged their opponents in the table.
It promises to be an exciting end to the season for the Under-19s as they battle for silverware on two fronts.