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 are to host Spennymoor Town in the first qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup on Monday.
The tie will take place at Mariners Park, with kick-off at 7pm.
Support would be greatly welcome, with admission costing £2 for adults and £1 for concessions.
The fixture is a rematch of last year’s second qualifying round tie between the sides, which Spennymoor won 2-1 at Mariners Park in front of a crowd of 277.
The young Mariners reached this stage of the competition with a terrific 4-3 win at Stockton Town, coming back from 2-0 and 3-2 behind. Goals from Will McCamley, Michael Colquhoun (2) and Sam Hodgson sealed the victory.
They also started their ECFA Category One Premier League campaign in fine style on Wednesday, beating York College i2i 7-2.
The youngsters would hugely appreciate your support on Monday in what will be their biggest occasion of the season so far.
South Shields FC can confirm that striker David Foley has left the club to join Spennymoor Town.
David was offered a contract to stay with South Shields on improved terms, and the club did everything within its reasonable power to keep him.
Losing a player of David’s quality is something we very much wished to prevent, but it ultimately proved to be unavoidable.
David himself has indicated that he would like the opportunity to compete at a higher level with Spennymoor in National League North, and we wish him well in his future endeavours.
We would also like to thank him for all of his terrific efforts over the last two years, and the role he has played in helping the club to back-to-back promotions, and five trophies.