Sefton Gonzales and Myles Boney were the stars of the show as South Shields overcame Dunston in dramatic circumstances to reach the third round of the Integro Cup.
The Mariners fell a goal behind 11 minutes into the second half and faced an uphill task against a Dunston side growing in confidence.
However, an onslaught in the final 20 minutes eventually bore fruit three minutes into stoppage time as a towering header from Gonzales forced a penalty shoot-out.
Robert Briggs missed the first penalty for the Mariners but there were no mistakes after that, with Sam Hodgson netting what proved to be the winning spot-kick before Boney made the second of two terrific saves in the shoot-out to book Shields a spot in round three, where they will host Morpeth Town.
Dunston started the game the brighter of the two sides as they adapted to the conditions more quickly.
They had an opportunity as early as the third minute when Jack Elliott pounced on a Shields mistake at the back, but his effort was always rising and comfortably cleared Boney’s crossbar.
The home side went close again when Mark Fitzpatrick got in down the right of Shields’ penalty area and fired a low ball across which begged a touch, but Liam Thear was unable to get on the end of it.
Dunston hit the woodwork twice in the first half, with the first occasion coming when Elliott advanced down the right and got into a shooting position before his shot hit a defender and cannoned against the post.
The goal frame was rattled again on the half hour mark when Fitzpatrick got on the end of a flick and impressively turned before firing against the top of the bar.
The hosts again looked set to score soon after when the ball broke to Michael Pearson in the box, but this time Boney was on hand to make a tremendous save with his feet and keep his side on level terms.
The Mariners improved after surviving those scares and had a decent chance to take the lead themselves after Gonzales was given a sight of goal on the edge of the box, but his low effort was held by Dunston goalkeeper Niall Harrison.
Dunston took the lead in controversial circumstances in the 56th minute as Pearson’s stud-first challenge on Boney went unpunished and the ball broke to Fitzpatrick, who slid it into the bottom corner.
Shields truly hit their stride in the last 20 minutes as they pressurised their hosts with wave after wave of attacks.
Harrison just beat Gonzales to the ball in a tight chase, Dillon Morse headed over and Lee Mason had a powerful effort brilliantly saved as the pressure was cranked up.
When another superb stop from Harrison denied Mason with seven minutes left time appeared to be running out for the Mariners, until the breakthrough arrived in the third minute of stoppage time.
Craig Baxter swung in a free-kick from 10 yards inside the Dunston half and Gonzales rose highest to nod the ball home and take the game to a penalty shoot-out.
Shields brought Briggs on specifically to take a penalty but he sent the first effort of the shoot-out wide.
That miss was cancelled out when Dunston’s fourth spot-kick, taken by Liam Marrs, was brilliantly kept out by the outstretched hand of Boney.
Both sides scored their next two penalties before substitute Hodgson gave Shields a 6-5 advantage which they retained when Boney blocked Callum Elliott’s spot-kick with his knee to seal his team’s place in round three.
The Mariners are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Stalybridge Celtic in the BetVictor Northern Premier Division.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Boney, Hunter, Charlton, Verstraaten, Morse, Brown (Thompson 46) (Briggs 90+4), Baxter (c), Ross, Gonzales, Gillies (Hodgson 70), Mason. Subs not used: Guy, Gilchrist.
Goal: Gonzales (90+3).
South Shields will aim to return to winning ways on Tuesday when they travel to Dunston in the Integro Cup.
The Mariners have suffered consecutive 2-1 home defeats in the last week, to Stockton Town in the Durham Challenge Cup and Witton Albion in the BetVictor Northern Premier Division.
Joint manager Lee Picton says he is looking for a reaction from his players, starting at the UTS Stadium.
He said: “We face a tough local game and we need players to say with their performances that a place in our team really, really means something to them.
“We’re confident that Saturday was a blip for us but we have to learn from it and be tough on ourselves.
“We’re looking for a massive reaction and that’s what the fans should expect.
“It’s up to the players to step up to the mark now and get us back on track.”
The Integro Cup has been decimated by the weather so far this season and Shields have not played in it since a first round victory at Tadcaster Albion in September.
Much has changed personnel-wise since that win – three of the Mariners players involved that night are no longer with the club – but Shields are looking to book a third round tie at home to Morpeth Town or Pickering Town.
The Mariners are without the injured Luke Daly (knee) and Ross Coombe (finger) heading into the 7.45pm kick-off at the UTS Stadium (NE11 9JL).
South Shields squad to face Dunston (from): Boney, Baxter, Brown, Charlton, Hunter, Morse, Verstraaten, Briggs, Gillies, Guy, Ross, Thompson, Gilchrist, Gonzales, Hodgson, Mason.
Tuesday’s Integro Cup tie between Dunston and South Shields has been postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.
The second round match has been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 28, with a 7.45pm kick-off.
As a consequence, the league trip to Nantwich Town – which has been pencilled in for January 28 – has been postponed, with a new date to be confirmed by the league in due course.