Match Report: South Shields U18s 1-3 Stockport County U18s

Match Report: South Shields U18s 1-3 Stockport County U18s

South Shields were eliminated from the FA Youth Cup at the first round stage as a clinical Stockport County earned a 3-1 win at 1st Cloud Arena.

The Hatters struck early in both halves and sealed their victory with a third goal in the closing stages to end the young Mariners’ hopes of progressing further after another strong run saw them reach the competition proper for the third time in four seasons.

Olly Cresdee did provide a moment to remember for Shields in stoppage time with a superb free-kick from distance, but there was no way back into the tie at that point.

Oliver McFadyen fired the visitors into the lead on 13 minutes as he drove inside from the left and struck a powerful effort which kissed the inside of the post before nestling in the net.

Shields were almost level less than four minutes later when Josh Edwards miscued a clearance from a James McGeorge corner, only for a team-mate to clear off the line.

That was part of a strong response to falling behind from Shields, although they needed Jack Watson to block from Jamie Walsh after Stockport countered from a corner.

The Mariners were strong in the challenge and quick to pounce on any mistakes from the visitors, which was exemplified when Charlie Walker stole possession in the middle and rushed into space before shooting wide from 20 yards.

Another effort from range by Lewis Lukeman was gathered by Hatters goalkeeper Daniel Harrison as Shields attempted to crank up the pressure, with the same player sending another long-distance strike over the bar less than two minutes later.

Callum Dobson made a tremendous save to keep the home side’s deficit at one seven minutes before the break when, after Leandro Tanswell had rounded him, he picked himself up and dived at full stretch to keep out his shot from 10 yards.

It was now more of an even contest as Stockport stemmed the flow of Shields attacks and went on several forays forward of their own, one of which led to Walsh dragging an effort wide from the right of the area.

Stockport took their one-goal advantage into the interval and the Mariners will have been looking for a strong opening to the second half, but got off to the worst possible start.

They conceded a free-kick on the Stockton right less than a minute after the restart which Keane Barugh whipped to the back post, where Scott Holding rose highest to head the Hatters into a two-goal lead.

Shields created an opportunity for a route back into the tie when Michael Johnstone created some space for himself on the right and pulled the ball back to captain McGeorge, whose effort from the edge of the box was deflected over. Alfie Marriott headed a presentable chance off target from the resulting corner.

Another chance came and went for the hosts as McGeorge again curled in a corner from the right, with Alex Thompson prodding over the bar.

Stockport largely nullified Shields’ threat after that, although they were sparked into life when substitute Harry Scurfield fired goalwards from the edge of the box with 13 minutes left and saw his strike deflected wide.

Just four minutes later, the Hatters killed the tie when a dangerous cross from the right was met at the near post by Tanswell, who picked out the bottom corner.

McGeorge almost pulled one back with a dipping free-kick from the left which Harrison clawed behind for a corner, which was whipped in by McGeorge but just evaded those in the centre.

Shields ended the game in spirited fashion but were unable to find a way past Harrison until the third minute of stoppage time, when a tremendous free-kick from distance by Cresdee arrowed into the top corner to provide a consolation.

There was no route back into the tie for the young Mariners, though, as Stockport sealed their place in the second round.

South Shields: Dobson, Bell, Watson (Taylor 76), Marriott, Thompson, Walker, Johnstone, Lukeman (Scurfield 57), Waldon (Kidd 65), McGeorge (c). Cresdee. Subs not used: Cotterill, Fletcher, Duffy, Morgan.

Attendance: 293.

Image: Kev Wilson.