South Shields’ historic run in the FA Youth Cup continued with an outstanding 6-2 thrashing of Macclesfield Town on Monday.
Sam Hodgson netted a hat-trick for the young Mariners on a night they could have hit double figures.
Michael Colquhoun also scored twice while Will McCamley was also on the scoresheet for Lee Picton and Graham Fenton’s side in front of a crowd of more than 350 at Mariners Park.
Shields took the lead in just the third minute as a cross from Bailey Judson was parried to Hodgson, who kept his cool to fire home.
Macclesfield levelled almost immediately when Hussein Mohammed impressively powered the ball in after a pass through the centre.
The Mariners went on to dominate after that setback and regained the lead thanks to a volley from Colquhoun, who cushioned the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
Colquhoun netted again just before the half-hour mark when a Judson corner found him at the back post and he squeezed a header over the line.
Shields had a number of opportunities to make it four and eventually found their next goal when a Judson corner was half cleared and the ball dropped to Hodgson, who fired low and in.
Hodgson completed his hat-trick on 63 minutes when Emeraude Yembe got to the byeline on the right and delivered a superb cross which was headed home.
McCamley hit the post soon after before getting his reward when he cut in from the left before picking out the bottom corner.
Dom Minchella and Colquhoun went close to making it seven, but it was to be Macclesfield who completed the scoring as Jake Hall netted a consolation.
Mohammed was sent off for two bookings in the closing stages as Shields saw out a 6-2 victory.
The young Mariners will travel to Lincoln City in round two.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Bramley, Yembe, Croft, Elcoate, Patterson (c), Lockey, McCamley, Scott (Carney 51), Colquhoun, Hodgson (Ames 74), Judson (Minchella 57). Subs not used: Errington, Carney, Black.
Goals: Hodgson (3, 54, 63), Colquhoun (14, 29), McCamley (73).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Kev Wilson.
South Shields’ academy youngsters are ready for the biggest game of their young lives on Monday when they take on Macclesfield Town in the first round of the FA Youth Cup.
The young Mariners won four thrilling ties to make it through the qualifying stages, and will now face the League Two side’s best youngsters at Mariners Park.
The match will kick-off at 7.30pm, with admission costing £3 for adults and £1 for concessions. All support would be hugely appreciated.
Shields beat Chorley 3-2 in an exciting third qualifying round tie last time out, and are now bracing themselves for an even bigger test.
Head of youth performance and development Jamie Williams is confident they are up to it, though.
He said: “If we’re honest, we don’t know what to expect.
“We can’t second guess what the opposition is going to look like, because first-teams are often very different to youth teams.
“All we’ve got to do is expect Macclesfield to be hard-working, really committed, technically really proficient and to be the best team we’ve played to date.
“If we can go in with that attitude and raise our own levels, I think we’ll be a match for anyone.”
Shields have beaten Stockton Town, Spennymoor Town, Gateshead and Chorley on their way to the first round.
Several youngsters have shone on the big stage and will be looking to impress further, in doing so improving their chances of future selection for the first-team.
They have had to battle well to reach this stage, and Williams has been delighted with the character shown.
He added: “Heart was a big word in the qualifying period.
“The lads learned to play with their head and they’re starting to play with a bit more heart.
“Our lads have largely stood up to it.
“Game management is the real big one that we want to try to support the players on.
“We just need to be a bit smarter when we’re ahead in the game.
“There’s still room for improvement.”
Playing on the Mariners Park stage is another big factor for the young Mariners.
Williams added: “Who wouldn’t want to play out there?
“It’s a great surface and the support has been fantastic.
“We’re so thrilled about continuing our run in the Youth Cup so we can have more nights playing under the floodlights in front of a lot of people, and against very competitive teams.”
South Shields will meet Macclesfield Town in the first round of the FA Youth Cup on Monday.
The young Mariners have enjoyed a tremendous run in the competition, having beaten Stockton Town, Spennymoor Town, Gateshead and Chorley to reach this stage.
They will again take to the Mariners Park pitch on Monday for a 7.30pm kick-off.
Admission prices are £3 for adults and £1 for concessions, so please come along if you can and give the youngsters your support on what will be a huge occasion for them.