South Shields 2-6 Northallerton Town
By Daniel Prince
Northallerton Town ran riot at Peterlee as South Shields suffered a heavy loss in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup.
Ben Riding’s brace was not enough for the Mariners, who had to do without a number of unavailable first-team performers.
Shields would have been looking to make good progress in the Northern League Division Two’s cup competition, but with captain Barrie Smith and striker Adam Burnicle among the absentees, got off to the worst possible start.
After Kyle Houshby had forced Northallerton’s debutant goalkeeper Jordan Aspinall into a good save, the visitors opened the scoring on eight minutes.
A corner led to a header which Shields goalkeeper Jak Wells did well to parry, but Dale Elgie was on hand to give Northallerton the lead.
Both sides had some good chances in the minutes that followed, with Jordan Fraser and Luke Olabode both producing efforts from Houshby set-pieces and Daniel McLachlan curling a shot wide at the other end.
A Shields through ball almost found Richard Logan on 14 minutes, but Aspinall was out well to smother.
The Mariners did get their deserved equaliser on 18 minutes, and it came from a familiar source.
Colin White’s long throw was directed straight onto the head of Riding, who nodded in.
However, Shields switched off following the goal and were immediately punished.
After Wells had made another terrific save with his feet, Colin Anderson struck the rebound into the empty net.
This time, though, there was no quick response from Shields, and Northallerton quickly extended their lead.
In the 23rd minute, a corner from the left was powerfully headed goalwards by Grant Hickman, and his effort appeared to strike the bar before hitting the unlucky Wells and bouncing into the net.
The Mariners almost got back into it eight minutes before half-time, with another long throw eventually finding Jordan Fraser, whose header smashed off the crossbar.
Wells produced another good save to deny McLachlan at the other end, but Northallerton went in at half-time 3-1 ahead and looking good to progress to the third round.
The visitors almost made it 4-1 seven minutes after the break when a terrific McLachlan flicked effort with the outside of his foot came off the inside of the post and somehow stayed out.
Shields boss Jon King opted to change things up by introducing Chris Locke and Chris Feasey, and on 62 minutes, they were back in the game.
Houshby’s corner was headed in by Riding, and suddenly the Mariners looked in with a real chance of forcing extra-time.
Feasey did well to create a chance for himself on 70 minutes, but his resulting shot was straight at Aspinall.
From then, Northallerton took control, scoring three times in the last nine minutes.
First, substitute Daniel Baxter fired in after yet another save from Wells, before he scored his second four minutes from the end after controlling a ball over the top, playing it round Wells and tapping it in.
A long range effort from White was well saved at the other end, but the result was no longer in doubt, with Richard Playforth completing the scoring with a left foot effort which went across Wells and into the bottom corner.
It was an undoubtedly desperate night for Shields in the closing stages, and they will look to bounce back when they return to league action on Saturday.
Whickham are the visitors to Peterlee’s Eden Lane for a 3pm kick-off.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Wells, Houshby (Crutwell 83), Turnbull, White, Fraser (Locke 58), Olabode, Richardson, Riding, Foster (Feasey 58) , Logan, Ramsey (c). Subs not used: McLean.
Goals: Riding (18, 62).
NORTHALLERTON TOWN: Aspinall, Porritt, Holliday, Hickman, Hemingway, Kokes (Baxter 79), Anderson, Elgie, Playforth, McLachlan, Stevens (Caygill 70). Subs not used: Colman, Kell.
Goals: Elgie (8), Anderson (19), Hickman (23), Baxter (81, 86), Playforth (90+1).