Stourbridge 1-1 South Shields: Mariners frustrated by late equaliser
South Shields conceded a stoppage time equaliser as they were forced to settle for a draw in their Buildbase FA Trophy trip to Stourbridge on Tuesday.
The Mariners played some superb football in the first half but went in at the break with just a Jason Gilchrist goal to show for their dominance.
It was a different story after half-time as Stourbridge demonstrated improvement, and they equalised three minutes into stoppage time to ensure the sides will need to do it all again in a replay at Mariners Park next Tuesday.
Shields were left frustrated after failing to capitalise on a superb opening to the game.
They almost opened the scoring within the first minute as Gilchrist held the ball up before laying it off to Lee Mason, who fired narrowly over.
After a period of patient possession, the Mariners made the breakthrough in the 17th minute.
Robert Briggs collected the ball in space 30 yards from goal and played it brilliantly into the feet of Gilchrist, who took a touch before rifling into the bottom corner to continue his impressive goalscoring form.
He looked certain to double his tally for the night two minutes later when he was again played in by a through ball, but this time he rounded goalkeeper Charlie Price and hit an effort wide from a tight angle.
Shields were repeatedly carving their opponents open and getting in behind, with Adam Thurston the next to be presented with an opportunity but he dragged a shot wide from a similar position to the one Gilchrist scored from.
Stourbridge retreated for the remainder of the half and will have been pleased to go in at the break just one goal behind.
They regrouped at the interval and looked a much-improved threat in the second half, with half-time substitute Tom Tonks firing the first warning as his shot from the right was palmed away by Myles Boney.
Shields still possessed a threat of their own and pressurised their hosts with a period of four consecutive corners, without being able to test Price in the Stourbridge goal.
Tom Turton thought he had levelled for the hosts when his piledriver from 25 yards arrowed towards the roof of the net, but Boney brilliantly tipped it over to maintain the Mariners’ advantage.
Gilchrist could have killed the game off at the other end as Briggs again played him in, but this time he lost his balance after rounding Price and fired over.
Three minutes into stoppage time and with Shields having almost seen off the home side’s threat, Stourbridge equalised as Tonks sent a long throw into the box from the right and amid a sea of bodies, the ball was headed in.
With Stourbridge having already fallen several games behind in their league campaign they were keen to avoid a replay, so sent goalkeeper Price forward for a further long throw.
Shields were able to clear this time, though, meaning the sides will do it all again next Tuesday.
Before that, the Mariners face an enthralling derby with Morpeth Town in the BetVictor Northern Premier Division on Saturday.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Boney, Baxter, Adams, Shaw (c), Morse, Turnbull, Thurston, Briggs, Gilchrist (Jenkins 90+3), Lowe, Mason (Odelusi 61). Subs not used: Wokoma, Charlton, Alli.
Goal: Gilchrist (17).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Jak Lewis.