Mariners beaten on penalties after classic FA Vase tie against Morpeth

Mariners beaten on penalties after classic FA Vase tie against Morpeth

South Shields suffered FA Vase heartbreak on Wednesday after losing a classic on penalties to Morpeth Town.

After battling back from a goal behind at Consett, Shields went on to dominate proceedings against the Northern League Division One high-flyers in the second half.

David Foley brought them back on level terms 12 minutes before the end, while a host of chances came and went before the 90 minutes were up.

Julio Arca fired Shields in front on 107 minutes to spark joyous scenes, but Morpeth hit back, scoring twice to seemingly snatch the tie.

However, the Mariners showed their mettle again as Warren Byrne volleyed in superbly to force a shootout, which ebbed and flowed before Morpeth took it 10-9.

It was a blow Shields did not deserve after such a superb performance as their 20 game winning run came to an end.

Morpeth had started the better of the two teams, and enjoyed good possession in the first 20 minutes.

Shields gradually took control, though, and Ben Riding missed a huge chance to put them ahead as he nodded wide at the back post.

Two minutes later, Morpeth took the lead as Mateusz Halambiec capitalised on a loose ball after a save by Scott Pocklington.

Byrne hit a good chance over the bar before half-time, and Shields went on to dominate the second half.

Leepaul Scroggins hit an effort inches wide, as did Wayne Phillips before Foley levelled when a Riding long throw was flicked on.

After that, the Mariners had several huge chances to win it in 90 minutes.

Morpeth goalkeeper Karl Dryden was in inspired from, saving point blank from Lewis Teasdale and Byrne, while Riding and Byrne also hit shots inches wide.

In extra-time, the remarkable saves continued, with Teasdale and Arca denied.

On 107 minutes, the hard work appeared to have been done as Arca fired home through a sea of bodies to finally reward the Shields dominance.

However, Morpeth – having looked down and out for so long – somehow found something left in the tank.

Halambiec fired into the top corner after a scramble in the box, and Morpeth were then ahead again as Michael Chilton rolled the ball past Pocklington.

With two minutes left, though, an incredible volley by Byrne forced penalties.

Riding had a chance to win it for Shields in the shootout, but fired over, and it was ultimately a save by Dryden from Scroggins which sealed Morpeth’s triumph, 10-9 on spot-kicks.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Pocklington, Smith, Turner (Teasdale 72), Hall, Riding, Arca, Foley, Scroggins (c), Byrne, Briggs (Sakr 59), Phillips (Wightman 103). Subs not used: Young, Bulford.

Goals: Foley (78), Arca (107), Byrne (118).

WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.