South Shields’ academy players avenged last season’s FA Youth Cup defeat to Spennymoor Town with a spirited victory over the same opponents on Monday.
The Mariners triumphed 3-1 on a night of high drama at Mariners Park as they moved into the second qualifying round of the competition.
Shields had to show grit and determination throughout the tie, which went to extra-time.
They deserved their victory, though, as some of the club’s brightest young talents shone in front of a healthy crowd.
The young Mariners were beaten by Spennymoor in the second qualifying round of last year’s competition, but were not to be denied this time.
They shaded the first half and went closest when a Bailey Judson free-kick was cleared as far as Callum Carney, whose sweet strike from 20 yards was blocked.
Shields’ work-rate was shining through and they started to get their rewards in the second half, albeit after goalkeeper Jacob Bramley had been called on to make decent saves from David Webb and Joe Sloan.
The hosts eventually built some momentum and went close to opening the scoring when substitute Sam Hodgson released Michael Colquhoun through on goal, but goalkeeper Alex Lawrence denied him. Will McCamley’s follow-up was deflected into the side netting.
Shields put their visitors under pressure and got their reward on the hour mark when Emeraude Yembe’s persistence on the right flank forced an opening and he produced a low cross which Olly Scott turned home from close range.
The young Mariners looked like they would see the game out until Spennymoor struck an equaliser in stoppage time, with Simon Jakab forcing the ball home from a free-kick.
Shields had to show character to bounce back in extra-time, but bounce back they did.
They were awarded a penalty in the 95th minute when Scott was fouled in the area, and substitute Josh Elcoate took the responsibility from the spot. He kept his cool to rattle his spot-kick into the bottom corner and restore Shields’ advantage.
Their passage into the next round was all but scored on 103 minutes when Hodgson latched onto a ball over the top, took it round Lawrence and kept his composure to slot home.
Substitute Calum Blenkhorn went close to pulling one back for Spennymoor towards the end, but his header came back off the post and it was soon Shields celebrating a fine victory which clearly meant a lot to them.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Bramley, Yembe, Lockey, Carney (Elcoate 86), Patterson (c), Onarbay, McCamley (Morris 70), Biwer, Colquhoun, Scott (Minchella 97), Judson (S Hodgson 56). Subs not used: E Hodgson.
Goals: Scott (60), Elcoate (pen 96), S Hodgson (103).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.
South Shields Academy made a winning start to life in the ECFA Category One Premier League as they hit seven goals past York College i2i on Wednesday.
The young Mariners won 7-2 at Silksworth Sports Centre and put in a performance which left joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton delighted.
Michael Colquhoun and Max Cowburn both scored twice, while Will McCamley, Lewis Orrell and Sam Hodgson were also on target for Shields.
The game was held at the same time as a friendly fixture involving more SSFC Academy players against a Durham University XI at Maiden Castle. Shields came from 2-0 behind in that match to win 4-2 with goals from Brad Allen and Josh Elcoate, along with a brace from Joe Ames.
In the match at Silkworth, the Mariners struck first and, after York equalised, the hosts secured victory with a run of five goals to go 6-1 ahead.
York netted a consolation but it was to be Shields who had the final say as they scored their seventh to wrap up a comprehensive win.
Picton was pleased with the way they coped with the difficult conditions.
He said: “We were really pleased with the win.
“We had a bit of a slow start in what were testing, windy conditions, and it took us 15 to 20 minutes to get our basics right and adapt to the conditions.
“We got better and better as the game went on, and some of our attacking play and movement was an absolute joy to watch.
“We put together some fantastic team moves, and the only disappointing aspect of the game was the two goals we conceded, because they were particularly sloppy.
“That is something we will need to tidy up moving forwards.
“All 16 players in the squad got equal game time, as the league allows rolling substitutions, so they all played their part in what was a really convincing win.”
SSFC ACADEMY: Armstrong, Biwer, Cooper, Thompson, Patterson, Bexton, McCamley, Scott, Annang, Guy, Cowburn. Subs: Onarbay, Carney, Orrell, Judson, Hodgson.
South Shields booked their place in the first qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday with a terrific 4-3 win at Stockton Town.
The young Mariners came from 2-0 and 3-2 behind to get the better of Stockton in the seven-goal thriller at the Coverall Stadium.
A tie against Spennymoor Town at Mariners Park awaits Lee Picton and Graham Fenton’s youngsters after they showed tremendous character to win on Teesside.
They got off to the worst possible start as they fell behind in the first minute.
Jayden Gray was played in on goal for the hosts and finished coolly to put Shields on the back foot.
Stockton’s fast start continued when Michael Davis’ cross from the left found Joe Smith, but he could not get his effort on target.
The Mariners grew into the game and had a good chance to level when Dom Minchella was played into a shooting position, but Jack McCall kept out his shot.
Shields started to control possession and some fine patterns of play offered real hope that they would draw back on level terms.
Michael Colquhoun was at the heart of many of their best moves and he looked certain to score when he went one-on-one with McCall, before he appeared to be tripped by the goalkeeper. Referee Matthew Carroll waved away the appeals, though, and it looked like that decision could prove crucial.
Stockton countered and won a free-kick 25 yards from goal which Gray struck brilliantly to double their advantage.
At 2-0 behind, it was set to be a huge test of the young Mariners’ character. They passed it with flying colours.
If anything, the second Stockton goal seemed to spur Shields on even more, and they deservedly pulled a goal back in the 27th minute when Will McCamley was played in on goal before he rounded McCall and finished well.
The Mariners enjoyed a dominant spell and got their reward five minutes into the second half.
Despite being outnumbered, Colquhoun showed superb strength and composure to beat his man on the edge of the box before firing a low effort which McCall could not keep out.
Most observers would have predicted a victory for Shields at that stage, but the Anchors fought back and retook the lead soon after.
A free-kick from Brad Marron was headed in by Mitchell Wilson as the hosts showed impressive character of their own.
Again, though, Shields were not to be denied.
Jordan Patterson twice went close to equalising – heading one opportunity just wide and another against the crossbar – before Colquhoun netted again as he showed more good strength before finishing well.
Substitute Stephen Black almost put Shields into the lead for the first time with 20 minutes left when he arrowed a stunning effort from 25 yards which came back off the bar.
The pressure was building and Shields got their reward in the 79th minute when a Bailey Judson free-kick was parried by McCall to Sam Hodgson, who forced it into the net.
The Mariners saw out the victory well to claim their place in the next round, when they will host Spennymoor Town at Mariners Park on a date yet to be confirmed.
SOUTH SHIELDS: E Hodgson, Yembe, Scott, Carney, Patterson (c), Lockey, McCamley, Ridley (Black 55), M Colquhoun, Minchella (S Hodgson 46), Judson (Morris 82). Subs not used: Wade, Green.
Goals: McCamley (27), Colquhoun (50, 67), S Hodgson (79).