South Shields swept into the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup with a convincing 4-0 victory at Ashton United on Saturday.

Four days after they had to come from two goals behind to salvage a draw in a league fixture against the same opponents, Shields were on the front foot throughout at Hurst Cross.

Jason Gilchrist and Darius Osei fired them into a 2-0 lead at half-time, and second half goals from Robert Briggs and Callum Ross sealed the Mariners’ place in Monday’s draw for the next round.

Lee Picton and Graham Fenton made two changes to the team which started last Tuesday’s 3-3 draw at Ashton, with Craig Baxter and Gilchrist introduced to the starting line-up in place of Will Jenkins and Jordan Hunter, who was injured.

After a sluggish first half display had left Shields playing catch-up in the league encounter between the sides, there were no such issues this time.

They had a sight of goal as early as the third minute as captain Jon Shaw turned an Alex Kempster free-kick wide, while further opportunities came the way of Briggs and Gilchrist as they began to knock on the Ashton door.

Goalkeeper Greg Hartley pushed away Briggs’ 20 yard effort and Gilchrist’s strike whistled into the side netting, though, as the away side were made to wait for their breakthrough.

It arrived on 24 minutes as Dillon Morse picked out Gilchrist with a terrific pass over the top and the frontman advanced towards goal before rounding Hartley and rolling the ball home for his third goal against Ashton in four days.

Less than eight minutes later, the Mariners went two goals to the good.

This time it was Ross at the heart of the build-up. He superbly beat his man in the centre of the pitch, drove forward with the ball and played it to Osei, who rifled a shot which had too much on it for Hartley and skipped into the roof of the net.

The closest Ashton came to pulling a goal back in the first half was an effort from the edge of the box by Ben Hardcastle which took a deflection and zipped along the wet surface before being well held by Myles Boney.

Shields had opportunities to go three ahead in the early stages of the second half, but Briggs and Kempster were both off target with their shots and Gilchrist was denied by Hartley.

The hosts almost halved the deficit just before the hour as Sam Sheridan tried to catch Boney out from near the halfway line, but his strike touched the top of the crossbar before bouncing behind.

The Mariners seized control after that and after a Briggs cross from the left was narrowly headed his own bar by a defender, the Shields vice-captain went from provider to goalscorer.

The lively Kempster provided him with the opportunity after a strong run and cross from the left, and Briggs squeezed the ball home at the back post to all but seal his side’s passage into the next round.

Ashton’s John Pritchard was sent off 10 minutes from the end after kicking out at Shields substitute Jenkins, and six minutes later the scoring was completed.

Briggs was back in the role of provider this time as his deep corner from the left was powered home by the head of Ross at the back post as he registered his first goal for the Mariners.

It completed a fine afternoon’s work for Picton and Fenton’s side, who can now look forward to Monday’s draw for the third qualifying round.

They are back in action on Tuesday when they take on Radcliffe in the league at 1st Cloud Arena.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Boney, Baxter, Adams (McCamley 75), Shaw (c), Morse, Ross, Verstraaten, Briggs, Gilchrist (Hodgson 82), Osei (Jenkins 72), Kempster. Subs not used: Coombe, Agnew.

Goals: Gilchrist (24), Osei (32), Briggs (69), Ross (86).

Attendance: 310.

Image: Kev Wilson.

South Shields Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Callum Ross.

The Newcastle-born midfielder has been training with the club for several weeks and international clearance has now been granted.

The 25-year-old had most recently been playing for Oklahoma City Energy in the United Soccer League, which is one tier below Major League Soccer.

He spent two seasons with Energy, having previously played for Charlotte Independence and Wingate University, with whom he won the NCAA national title in 2016.

Ross is well-known to Shields joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton, who helped to develop him during his time in Monkseaton High School’s football academy.

Picton is excited about the prospect of working with the player again.

He said: “We’re delighted to bring Callum Ross to the club.

“He is someone both myself and Graham know very well from our time at Monkseaton.

“He has developed into a real top class all-round midfield player who can also play just as comfortably at the back.

“Signing Callum gives us extra options in those areas.

“He was offered a new contract at Oklahoma but through the discussions we had with him, he has made the decision to come home and help us in our quest for promotion, and also hopefully help us achieve our longer-term aims at the club.

“As well as his skill set as a player, his personality and character are completely aligned with what we are looking for in all our players and we know with absolute certainty he will be a good asset to the club.”