South Shields qualified for the final qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup as Myles Boney took centre stage with two superb saves in a penalty shootout win at Southport.

The Mariners battled back from a goal behind against the National League North outfit, who had eliminated them from the Buildbase FA Trophy a year earlier.

Darius Osei slid in a 74th minute equaliser and Shields were the better side in the closing stages, but were unable to seal a victory in the 90 minutes as they were forced into a second penalty shootout of the season in this competition.

Just as he did in the second qualifying round at Warrington Town, Boney came to the fore with two brilliant stops to help his side prevail, with all four of Shields’ penalty takers converting from the spot.

The Mariners now await Thursday’s draw for the fourth qualifying round as they bid to claim a place in the first round for the first time in the modern club’s history.

Shields made one change to the side which won 3-1 at Bamber Bridge in the Pitching In Northern Premier League three days earlier, with fit-again Blair Adams introduced in place of Will Jenkins, releasing Alex Kempster into a more attacking role.

The Mariners started brightly enough in possession, but Southport’s danger from set-pieces was prevalent from an early stage as they attempted to bombard their visitors with an array of deliveries into the box.

The home side also had a series of efforts from outside the area, the first of which was a sweet strike by Connor Woods which Boney was equal to three minutes in.

Jack Sampson and David Morgan were off target with shots from a similar range before Shields almost stunned their hosts through the in-form Jason Gilchrist, who slammed an effort from just outside the area which left the crossbar rattling.

Boney was kept busy at the other end and his latest interventions saw him do well to keep out a 25 yard strike by Russell Benjamin before tipping a half volley from Morgan onto the bar.

Phil Turnbull and Kempster both denied Mo Ali with blocks but Southport’s pressure told just before the half-hour mark, albeit in hugely fortuitous circumstances.

Jack Bainbridge got in down the right of the area and as he fired a low cross into the box, it struck the standing leg of Callum Ross and fizzed past Boney to leave many inside the ground scratching their heads, as it had appeared from some angles that the ball had gone past the post.

Buoyed by their goal, Southport pushed for a second and Charlie Oliver sent a ball across the face of goal which begged a touch but did not get one, while Craig Baxter was the next to produce an impressive block from a set-piece.

Shields did have some promising openings of their own in the closing stages of the first half without being able to test home goalkeeper Tony McMillan, and there were enough signs of encouragement to reflect on at half-time as they looked to produce a second half turnaround.

That is exactly what transpired, and they were almost level within two minutes of the restart as Blair Adams’ menacing cross from the left deceived McMillan and flew towards the top corner before the goalkeeper scrambled across to make a fingertip save.

The Mariners were forced into a change moments later, with captain Jon Shaw withdrawn due to a knock and replaced by Jordan Hunter, prompting a change of shape as Lee Picton and Graham Fenton opted to go three at the back.

It was an alteration which worked a treat, with Hunter in particular thriving on the right-hand side as he posed a constant threat to the Southport back-line.

Shields began to dominate possession and Gilchrist, having been starved of chances barring the one he created for himself and struck the crossbar with, was brought into the centre of proceedings.

His first sniff of goal came as Kempster delivered a dangerous cross from the left and Gilchrist volleyed over what was a difficult opportunity at the back post.

Gilchrist also headed over from an Adams cross and had a better chance less than a minute later as Hunter’s cross was destined for his head at point-blank range, only for the slightest of touches by a defender to increase the pace on the ball, meaning it came at Gilchrist too quickly for him to react and it struck him before going over.

The pressure on Southport was building and it paid off with 16 minutes remaining as Gilchrist produced some fine skill on the left flank and found Kempster, who saw an effort blocked before sending the loose ball across the face of goal, where Osei was on hand to roll in his second of the season.

Kempster proved to be Shields’ biggest threat in the closing stages and he forced McMillan into a decent save with a strike from distance, while substitute Will McCamley also went close as he drove at the Sandgrounders’ defence from the left before having a shot deflected not far wide.

As the match went into stoppage time, Southport’s threat returned and they went close three times, with Morgan narrowly off target with two attempts from the edge of the area before Boney made a fine interception in the final minute after a loose backpass threatened to unravel all of Shields’ good work.

The tie would therefore be decided with the taking of penalty kicks, the same method the Mariners had prevailed from two rounds previously against Warrington Town.

They again went second on this occasion, with the first crucial moment arriving when the third spot-kick of the shootout, taken by Southport’s Benjamin, was superbly kept out by Boney as he dived low to his right.

Boney also brilliantly saved Southport’s second penalty, diving the correct way before saving from Oliver, giving Shields much the upper hand.

Robert Briggs, Gilchrist and Kempster were all successful from the spot and Boney’s saves meant Osei had an opportunity to fire Shields into the next round, which he duly took as he confidently stroked his penalty home.

The Mariners are now potentially one win away from qualifying for the competition proper, although first they must negotiate a league fixture at home to Matlock Town on Saturday, followed by another match at 1st Cloud Arena against Morpeth Town three days later.

South Shields: Boney, Baxter, Adams (McCamley 75), Shaw (c) (Hunter 50), Morse, Ross, Turnbull, Briggs, Gilchrist, Kempster, Osei. Subs not used: Coombe, Agnew, Verstraaten, Jenkins, Hodgson.

Goal: Osei (74).

Attendance: 0.

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 registered a convincing 4-1 win at in-form Gainsborough Trinity as they moved five points clear at the top of the BetVictor Northern Premier Division.

The Mariners produced one of their most impressive performances of the season to strengthen their promotion hopes as they built on an early goal from Darius Osei.

Nathan Lowe doubled the advantage 11 minutes before half-time and the away side continued to press on after the break, with goals from Dillon Morse and Josh Gillies sealing the points.

Gainsborough pulled one back from the penalty spot towards the end but could do little to dent what was a superb day for Shields in Lincolnshire.

They looked in determined mood from the outset and had their first sight of goal as early as the second minute as Jason Gilchrist flashed a shot wide from a Dom McHale corner.

The Mariners were dominant in possession and received their reward on nine minutes as Jon Shaw lifted a ball over the defence into the left channel and Osei wriggled his way through before finishing well from a tight angle as he netted his first goal for the club.

Shields were playing front foot football and went close to doubling their advantage on a number of occasions, with Osei firing into the side netting, Lowe sending a piledriver just wide and Blair Adams drilling a low ball across goal which just evaded a touch.

The deserved second goal arrived in the 34th minute as Lowe pounced on a loose ball in midfield and drove forward before hammering a low effort past home goalkeeper George Willis.

There were two good opportunities for the Mariners to make it three before half-time, but Morse and Osei were both narrowly off target with their attempts.

Shields will have expected a strong response from their hosts early in the second half and Gainsborough obliged.

They provided an improved goal threat but were unable to seriously trouble Myles Boney in the Shields goal before the Mariners pressed on again midway through the second half.

Willis did well to tip a long range bullet from Lowe wide but from the resulting corner, the Mariners added a third as Gillies’ cross from the right bounced in the area and was pounced on by Morse, who smashed it past Willis.

A fourth goal was added 10 minutes before the end when Willis saved from Gilchrist before Robert Briggs headed the rebound against the bar the ball bounced to Gillies, who nodded home.

Gainsborough pulled a goal back five minutes from the end as Gregg Smith converted from the spot, but the points had long since been sealed by the Mariners.

They will hope to build on the victory when they travel to Bamber Bridge next Saturday.

SOUTH SHIELDS: Boney, Hunter, Adams (Verstraaten 80), Shaw (c), Morse, Turnbull, Baxter, Lowe, Gilchrist, Osei (Briggs 74), McHale (Gillies 46). Subs not used: Thompson, Ross.

Goals: Osei (9), Lowe (34), Morse (70), Gillies (80).

Attendance: 712.

WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.