Pride as SSFC Ladies’ historic cup run comes to an end

Pride as SSFC Ladies’ historic cup run comes to an end

South Shields’ historic run in the Women’s FA Cup came to an end as they were beaten 4-1 by Norton and Stockton Ancients on Sunday.

The lasses qualified for the first round of the competition for the first time and impressed against their higher-ranked opponents at Harton Welfare.

The final score had a harsh look to it for the Mariners, who were a goal behind at half-time but saw their opponents pull away in the second half, despite Eve Gatens providing a glimmer of hope.

Shields had defeated Morecambe in a comfortable 5-0 victory in the previous round, but Norton, who reside in the National League, proved too powerful last weekend.

Mariners head coach Ben Garrity felt there were plenty of positives to take from the game, though.

He said: “It was always going to be a very tough test coming up against a team from a higher division who are also doing really well in their league.

“Norton were exactly as we expected: very physical and very fit but also with very good quality on the ball, so it was always going to be an uphill battle.

“Throughout the game we were well in it, especially in the first half coming in at 1-0 down.

“We were in the tie and having plenty of chances of our own, but we just lacked that little bit of quality in the final third.

“Even throughout the second half as the game progressed the lasses never stopped working hard and working for each other, which was excellent to see.”

Garrity also discussed how a never-say-die attitude has been instilled within the squad.

He continued: “Sometimes when you’re in games like that and you’re getting beaten, it’s easy to stop working hard for each other, but the lasses gave an excellent account of themselves from the first whistle right until the last.

“Although we lost, it was a performance that we can definitely take a lot of positives from.

“Overall, it was a performance that the lasses and I can be very proud of.

“We can’t dwell on this game though as, luckily, we have another massive game this weekend in the first round of the County Cup against Washington, where I’m sure the lasses will show their reactions to getting beat.”

Shields will look to bounce back against Washington, with the Mariners hoping to see another excellent turnout.

Garrity added: “Again I would like to thank everyone for their support at our game.

“We really appreciate it and we would love to see the level of the support continue and increase throughout the season.”

Image by ID Event Photography.