South Shields were eliminated from the Buildbase FA Trophy after a 5-3 defeat on penalties at Marine on Saturday.
The third qualifying round tie was decided on spot-kicks following a goalless and largely uneventful 90 minutes at the Marine Travel Arena.
All but one of the nine penalties taken were scored as the Merseysiders made it through to the first round of the competition.
Both teams struggled to find rhythm in the early stages, although Shields were on top in the possession stakes as they probed for an opening.
Conor Tee glanced a header wide and a better opportunity fell the way of Darius Osei midway through the first half when he skipped past a defender and ran towards goal, only for Marine goalkeeper Bayleigh Passant to close the angle and smother his shot.
The Mariners went on to enjoy their best spell of the game and the closest they came was a powerful strike by Will McGowan which blasted against a defender and behind for a corner.
Osei and Tee also saw efforts from outside the area gathered by Passant, who was an influential figure in the first 45 minutes.
Shields were unable to seriously test him after the break, although Nathan Lowe had a good sight of goal in the 64th minute when he was teed up on the edge of the box but fired wide.
Marine almost broke the deadlock less than two minutes later as Mark Howarth teased a free-kick from the left onto the head of substitute Dean Winnard, who directed the ball inches past the post.
Neither team would truly threaten a goal after that as the tie drifted towards penalties. Shields’ brightest moment was a driving run from the left by Blair Adams, who played a give-and-go with Tee before placing a shot wide.
A penalty shootout had looked the likely outcome for most of the game, and so it proved.
In a high-quality sequence of spot-kicks, neither goalkeeper was able to make a save as penalties were regularly sent into the corners of the net.
Robert Briggs, Sam Hodgson and Osei all converted for the Mariners, but Tee sent his effort over the bar to provide Niall Cummins with the chance to send Marine into the first round.
He made no mistake to seal the home side’s victory as they continued their impressive form in cup competitions, having remarkably made it all the way to the third round of the Emirates FA Cup last season and the final qualifying round of the competition this term.
Shields are now left to solely focus on their challenge in the Pitching In Northern Premier League, having also been eliminated from the Durham Challenge Cup this week.
They travel to Atherton Collieries in the league next Saturday as they look for a return to winning ways.
South Shields: Boney, Martin, Adams (c), Shaw (Bodenham 20), Morse, Ross, Osei, McGowan (Briggs 72), Main (Hodgson 82), Lowe, Tee. Subs not used: Steavens, Neary, Kempster, Massanka.
Image: Kev Wilson.
South Shields face a trip to Merseyside on Saturday as they aim to make progress in the Buildbase FA Trophy.
The Mariners are heading to cup specialists Marine, who made it all the way to the third round of the FA Cup last season before being beaten by Tottenham Hotspur in front of the BBC cameras.
Marine also progressed to the final qualifying round of the FA Cup this term before an agonising defeat to Wrexham, and are third in the Northern Premier League West Division – one tier below Shields – with two games in hand on leaders Mossley.
Shields manager Graham Fenton knows the sternest of tests awaits his side at the Marine Travel Arena, but says the Mariners are relishing the challenge.
He said: “It’s probably a really good game for us because Marine have got a little bit of everything.
“They’ve got some physicality, they’ve got some pace and they’ve got some technical players.
“They’ve also got some deficiencies, as any team does, and we have to nullify their strengths and expose their weaknesses, which is what the game is all about.
“We’ve prepared the lads for the challenge ahead and we’ll be giving it everything we’ve got to get into the hat for the next round.”
Shields were beaten 5-2 by Sunderland’s Under-23s in the Durham Challenge Cup on Wednesday, despite taking an early 2-0 lead thanks to two goals inside the first six minutes by Sam Hodgson.
Another cup test now awaits Shields in the battle of the Mariners.
Fenton said: “Both teams will be up for it.
“We have to be better out of possession than we were on Wednesday, and we have to keep being brave in possession and show some of the football we’ve played through the thirds in the last two games.
“We have to keep doing that and really tighten up on the defensive side of the game.
“We’ve worked on it and now it’s full steam ahead for Saturday.”
If Saturday’s game finishes level after 90 minutes, it will go straight to a penalty shootout.
Shields remain without Jordan Hunter (arm), Will Jenkins (leg) and Joao Gomes (knee) for the 3pm kick-off at the Marine Travel Arena, which has a post code of L23 3AS.
Admission prices are £10 for adults and £6 for concessions, with tickets available in advance from Marine’s website by clicking here. No cash turnstiles will be in operation but supporters will be able to purchase tickets from Marine’s ticket office on the day of the game.
Marine have indicated there will be no cash turnstiles in operation ahead of Saturday’s Buildbase FA Trophy tie against South Shields.
Supporters planning to attend the game are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance from Marine’s website. The relevant page can be found by clicking here.
Alternatively, tickets will be available from the ticket office at the Marine Travel Arena on the day of the match.
Tickets cost £10 for adults and £6 for concessions, which covers children aged up to 16 and those aged 65 and over.
Fans entering the stadium must provide their e-ticket or printed ticket which will be scanned on entry at gates 1 and 2 on College Road or at gates 5 and 6, adjacent to the club entrance.
All turnstiles will open at 1.45pm, at which time the Arriva Suite and 1894 bar can be accessed for refreshments and snacks.
The post code of the ground is L23 3AS.