South Shields were eliminated from the Buildbase FA Trophy by Ashton United on Tuesday.

In an action packed second-half, Ashton’s Sam Baird got the first goal in the 55th minute before Jamie Sterry equalised just 10 minutes later.

Michael Raynes got the winner seven minutes from the end, sending Ashton into the second round of the competition.

This was the third meeting between these sides this season and both teams saw plenty of the ball in the first half, but Shields had more possession and looked the more likely to score. The Mariners’ defence was able to switch play well and direct the ball through the middle.

Shields had the first chances of the game, with Alex Kempster and Jason Gilchrist going close in the opening stages. Ashton goalkeeper Greg Hartley was also called into action early on as he saved a Blair Adams header.

The Mariners had a couple of opportunities in the Ashton half. Jordan Hunter hit a menacing deep cross towards goal but the ball went over the bar, and Blair Adams was causing issues down the left for the Robins, providing attacking opportunities before being able to slot back into defence.

Ashton had a sniff at the Shields goal after switching the ball to the left wing, but a cross from John Pritchard was headed out.

On the cusp of half-time Adams had a decent chance saved after he received the ball from Robert Briggs and cut through the defence, but he was ruled offside.

Ashton came out full of energy in the second half, having a couple of early chances. Former Mariners forward Millenic Alli burst down the wing and his effort was kept out by Myles Boney.

Shields had a couple of plays in the Ashton half but it was the hosts who drew the first blood of the game. A Pritchard free-kick was met by Baird, who volleyed home.

The Mariners continued to attack and used Hunter and Kempster down the wings to try to build play.

They were soon rewarded for their efforts when a cross came in and was stabbed home by Sterry as he registered his first goal for the club.

Both teams began to pick up the pace in search of a winner, the ball pinging between them and both sides having chances.

It was the Robins who got the next goal when Raynes headed in a Pritchard corner in the 83rd minute.

Shields had numerous chances towards the end of the game to try to take it to penalties. Hartley pulled off another good save in the bottom corner to deny substitute Darius Osei in the 86th minute.

Just moments later Ashton managed to clear a dangerous ball into the box and another Osei effort was saved.

In the dying stages of added time, Sterry came agonisingly close to nabbing the equaliser but Ashton were able to block the ball and clear, with strong penalty appeals for a challenge on Dillon Morse waved away as the hosts held on to progress to the next round of the Trophy.

South Shields: Boney, Sterry, Adams, Ross, Morse, Briggs (c), Hunter (Hindle 84), Turnbull, Gilchrist, Lowe (Mason 81), Kempster (Osei 70). Subs not used: Coombe, Shaw, Baxter, Gillies.

Goal: Sterry (66).

Attendance: 0.

South Shields return to action with a trip to Ashton United on Tuesday as they battle for a place in the second round of the Buildbase FA Trophy.

The Mariners have not played since the Emirates FA Cup defeat at Cheltenham Town on November 7th as a result of the national lockdown and subsequent tier restrictions.

Tuesday’s match will take place behind closed doors but a live stream is available to watch for £6, with the profits to be split equally between the two clubs. To purchase the stream, click here and follow the instructions.

This will be the third meeting so far this season between Ashton and Shields.

The first encounter saw the Mariners recover from a two-goal deficit to claim a 3-3 draw in the league, before they eliminated their Lancashire opponents from the Emirates FA Cup with a 4-0 victory.

Shields travel to Hurst Cross hoping to reach the second round of this competition for the first time in the club’s history.

Full updates will be provided on the club’s social media channels during the match.

The pause to the Pitching In Northern Premier League season has been extended until at least December 16th, and will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis.

Clubs across the Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Football Leagues voted earlier this week on whether to resume the campaign immediately or continue the pause in fixtures, with 76% of them electing for the latter.

However, Buildbase FA Trophy fixtures will go ahead in the meantime, meaning the Mariners will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Ashton United.

As Ashton is in a Tier 3 area, the match will be played behind closed doors. Supporters will be able to purchase a live stream by clicking here.

Further updates will be released when they are available and we look forward to hopefully welcoming you back to 1st Cloud Arena soon.

Below is the statement which was released by the Trident Leagues.

 

Following the statement issued by the Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Football Leagues yesterday, further clarification can now be given in relation to the voting following the Zoom meetings held by all 3 Trident Leagues with their Member Clubs to discuss the impact of the raising of the lockdown on 2nd December.

There were 224 Clubs voting across the 3 Leagues and of these 172 agreed with the proposition to continue the pause in fixtures, 51 disagreed and there was 1 abstention. Broken down by League, 57 Clubs in the Northern Premier League voted to agree with 4 disagreeing, 68 Clubs in the Southern League agreed with 14 disagreeing and in the Isthmian League it was much closer with 47 Clubs agreeing, 33 disagreeing and 1 abstention.

The “Agree” vote was therefore 76% and it has been agreed that the three Leagues will not sanction fixtures at this time.

It is intended that the situation is kept under review in line with Government review on the Tier allocations and restrictions. Accordingly, the next review is set for 16 December and then 30 December. It is the hope of all the Leagues that a date in January can be set for a return to fixtures with Clubs who wish being allowed to play before that date but this will not be until there is a change in the Tiers and/or some progress in the funding of the Clubs at this level.

The Government has allocated £25m to Sport England to fund Steps 1 to 6 of the National Leagues System, of which £14m is set for Steps 3-6 but is heavily weighted in favour of loans, not grants. The FA is working tirelessly with DCMS and Sport England to have the funding presented as Grants. However, these negotiations take time, and it is not expected to have an answer or clarification of details of even the loans until mid-January.

The deep concern of all involved in the NLS is that circumstances may mean that it is not possible to conclude the current format of competition in a manner in which promotion and relegation can be achieved throughout the whole pyramid with Step 2 being brought up to 48 Clubs and Step 4 brought up to 240 Clubs.

If, therefore, no progress is made by the Government on the Tiers in either of the two December reviews, it is the intention of the Alliance Committee to circulate those concerned with a survey to gather the views of the Clubs as how best to finish the season. Options will include an alternative format competition and extending the season possibly into June 2021. However the implications of all such proposals will involve the cost of players contracts and the ability of some clubs to continue playing because of other issues of grounds and the need to prepare grass pitches for the following season.

The Leagues are mindful of the needs of all Clubs and are striving to find a solution which is fair to all.