Farsley Celtic 1-1 South Shields: Late Finnigan penalty secures replay
Carl Finnigan earned South Shields a Buildbase FA Trophy replay against Farsley Celtic as his stoppage time penalty secured a 1-1 draw at Throstle Nest.
After substitute Jamie Holmes was brought down in the area, Finnigan made no mistake from the spot as the Mariners finally found a way past goalkeeper Graeme McKibbin, who had thwarted them a number of times with superb saves.
The hosts had looked set to book a place in the second qualifying round after James Walshaw headed in shortly after the hour mark, but a replay was the least Shields deserved from a wind-affected game.
The teams will meet again at Mariners Park on Tuesday, with kick-off at 7.45pm.
Shields suffered a blow in the lead-up to the game as Jon Shaw and Matty Pattison were both ruled out through injuries.
They then had to battle blustery conditions in the first half as they kicked into the wind, but they coped with that well as they got on top early in the proceedings.
Gavin Cogdon had a low shot saved within the first two minutes after a cut-back from Michael Richardson, while McKibbin did brilliantly to keep out a header from Robert Briggs as he clawed the ball to safety.
Another chance fell the way of Cogdon as he raced onto a Richardson pass over the top, but he was also denied by McKibbin as he saved the one-on-one effort.
McKibbin pulled off an even better stop shortly before the 20-minute mark as he pushed a shot from the edge of the box by Briggs over the bar with his fingertips.
There were some opportunities for the hosts, whose main threat was frontman Walshaw.
He headed an impressive right-wing cross by Ryan Watson wide of the target, and had another sight of goal when he controlled the ball on the edge of the box before forcing Liam Connell into a good save.
The sides went in at the break level, and although Shields largely controlled possession in the second half, they struggled to break Farsley down.
The closest they came in the early stages was when Cogdon wriggled his way through from the left, but his powerful effort was beaten to safety by McKibbin.
Against the run of play, Farsley took the lead in the 63rd minute as a cross from the left was met at the near post by Walshaw, who found the bottom corner.
He almost doubled his tally just a minute later as he weaved some space for himself in the area, but his hammer of a shot was tipped over by Connell as he helped to keep his team’s FA Trophy bid alive.
The hosts went close again when substitute Paul Walker forced his way through from the left channel before firing a shot inches wide of the upright.
Shields had been mainly restricted to efforts from distance, and they were becoming increasingly frustrated as the tie edged towards what looked like being a disappointing conclusion.
There was a half-chance when a corner from Briggs bounced in the penalty area, but Dillon Morse was unable to turn it home as his effort was deflected into the hands of McKibbin.
The Mariners still had time to get back on level terms, though, and that happened as the game ticked into stoppage time.
Holmes – who had been introduced from the bench just before the hour mark – went on a superb run from the left and worked his way into a shooting position in the box before being tripped.
The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Finnigan sent McKibbin the wrong way to keep the Mariners in the competition.
They could even have snatched a dramatic winner in stoppage time as a corner dropped the way of Louis Storey, but he was unable to get clean contact on it and McKibbin clutched the ball.
The teams will now have to do it all over again on Tuesday.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Baxter (Nicholson 65), Callaghan (Storey 79), Lough, Morse, Arca (c), Smith (Holmes 59), Briggs, Cogdon, Richardson, Finnigan. Subs not used: Norton, Sullivan.
Goal: Finnigan (pen 90+1).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.