South Shields 0-0 Colne: Resolute visitors earn FA Cup replay
South Shields and Colne will meet in an Emirates FA Cup first qualifying round replay on Tuesday after a stalemate between the sides at Mariners Park.
Chances were hard to come by on a frustrating afternoon as Colne stood firm to ensure the home side could not break the deadlock.
The draw means that Shields’ home league match against Lancaster City – which had been due to take place on Tuesday – has been postponed.
Colne defended stoically to restrict Shields to minimal clear-cut opportunities and ensure their passage to the second qualifying round would not be a smooth one.
The Reds also posed a significant threat on the counter-attack, and fired their first warning as early as the fifth minute as striker Sefton Gonzales came inside from the left before drilling a shot which Dillon Morse blocked.
Shields were unchanged from the team which beat Bamber Bridge 4-1 in the league a week earlier, but they found goals much harder to come by on this occasion.
Chances were rare at both ends, with most efforts at goal coming from distance.
Gonzales was Colne’s biggest threat and forced a low save from Mariners goalkeeper Myles Boney with a 20 yard strike in the 21st minute.
Shields’ brightest play of the first half-hour almost resulted in an opportunity for David Foley, but Blair Adams’ ball across the area went just behind the frontman.
Boney kept out a long distance effort by Marcus Poscha at the other end, but the home side did get a better grip of the game as the first half progressed as they began to convert their possession into good territory.
The Colne back line remained difficult to breach, although Foley did go close to breaking the deadlock five minutes before half-time as his sharp turn and effort from inside the area was well saved by goalkeeper Hakan Burton.
Things also opened up for Nathan Lowe less than a minute later as he received the ball on the edge of the box, but his shot went over.
Shields introduced Robert Briggs from the bench at the break as they looked for more creativity.
Adams had their first opportunity of the second half as he cut in from the left before firing a right-foot effort which was deflected wide.
A dangerous, low Josh Gillies free-kick just after the hour mark was begging for a positive touch towards goal, but flicked a defender and went past the post.
Shields remained unable to turn their possession into clear chances, with Foley off target with a strike from 20 yards as they tried to build some momentum.
The hosts thought the deadlock had been broken with 16 minutes left when Burton saved well from Gillies and the ball broke to substitute Jason Gilchrist, who finished from close range. The celebrations were cut short by the offside flag, though.
Gonzales struck a powerful effort not far over the bar for Colne as they looked to find a sucker punch, and another attack from the visitors saw Will Harris fall in the area before being booked for diving.
The game sparked into life in the latter stages as both teams had opportunities to win it.
Jordan Hunter had a shot from the edge of the box saved and Gillies went closer as he robbed a defender of possession in the area before being denied by the feet of Burton.
With Shields pushing for a winner, Colne’s threat on the counter-attack became more prevalent and they almost caught their hosts out as Gonzales ran towards goal, but a brilliant tackle by Gary Brown saved his side.
The Mariners continued to be patient in their build-up play and almost got their reward in the second minute of stoppage time as the ball was pulled back to Briggs on the edge of the area and his terrific effort was destined for the top corner before being clawed behind by Burton.
Lee Mason had a further shot deflected wide from the resulting corner before the final whistle blew and the sides were left to prepare for a replay.
It will take place at Colne’s Holt House ground on Tuesday, meaning Shields’ home league match against Lancaster City has been postponed.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Boney, Hunter, Adams (c), Turnbull, Morse, Brown, Gillies, Lowe (Briggs 46), Mason, Thurston (Gilchrist 65), Foley (Guy 81). Subs not used: Coombe, Shaw, Baxter, Alli.
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.