South Shields reached the semi-finals of the Buildbase FA Vase for the first time in the club’s history with a crushing 6-1 win over Newport Pagnell Town at an electric Mariners Park on Saturday.
Cheered on by a ground record crowd of 3,161, the Mariners produced a majestic display to make it 19 victories in a row.
David Foley and Wayne Phillips fired them 2-0 up with two superb strikes within the first six minutes, and further goals from Dillon Morse and Robert Briggs saw Shields take a commanding 4-0 lead into half-time.
Gavin Cogdon added a double after the break to seal the home side’s passage into the last four, with Newport pulling one back towards the end.
The Mariners now await Monday’s semi-final draw.
There was a carnival atmosphere at Mariners Park some three hours before kick-off on Saturday, with supporters piling into the ground for such a big occasion.
The Shields squad was even treated to a deafening roar as they departed the dressing room for their warm-up, with space in the stands and around the pitchside fence already very limited even at that early stage.
By the time the players entered the pitch before the game, the crowd was already in fine voice and ready to back their team to the hilt.
Newport Pagnell started well, though, as they aimed to silence the home support.
They were almost rewarded in just the second minute, but the appropriately-named Elliot Sandy was adjudged to have brought the ball down with his arm before prodding into the bottom corner.
If that was the jolt Shields needed, they certainly responded in style.
Foley collected the ball 10 yards inside the Newport half and twisted past one opponent before unleashing a left-foot piledriver which glanced in off the post to send Mariners Park into raptures.
The atmosphere was sent up another notch when Shields scored a second stunning goal inside the first six minutes.
Michael Richardson found Darren Lough just outside the box on the left, and he played the ball into the path of Phillips, who, urged to shoot by the crowd, did just that with the outside of his left foot and watched his effort drive into the corner of the net in another devastating show of quality.
Shields were rampant and in the mood to wrap up a place in the semi-finals quickly.
Cogdon had an effort deflected wide and Briggs hit one over, while a Craig Baxter shot from the edge of the box bounced in front of goalkeeper Mark Osbourne, who managed to divert it over the bar.
The third goal wasn’t long in arriving, though, and it came when Phillips swung in a terrific corner from the right which an unmarked Morse powerfully headed home from close range.
Within two minutes of that, the Mariners all but sealed their victory with another tremendous goal.
Richardson sprayed a superb pass out to the left which was expertly controlled by Cogdon and played through to the advancing Lough on the inside-left of the box. He swept the ball across the area, where Baxter claimed it and passed it on again to Briggs, who smashed it into the roof of the net with a brilliant strike.
Newport battled gamefully and the match understandably hit more of a lull before Shields burst back into life in the second half.
Briggs saw a free-kick tipped wide by Osbourne, while at the other end, Liam Connell saved a one-on-one from Darryl Smith after a loose pass at the back.
Suddenly, though, Cogdon was played in on goal and when he was brought down, the referee pointed to the spot.
Osbourne got a hand to Cogdon’s penalty, but the power meant it was always destined to reach the bottom-right corner. Cogdon celebrated in style with his trademark handstand – which was brought to an abrupt end thanks to a sneaky push from Phillips!
It was Cogdon’s 20th goal of the season, and he had to wait just six minutes more for number 21.
It was another picture-book effort, with Cogdon playing the ball into the feet of substitute Andrew Stephenson, who flicked it first-time over a defender’s head and into the path of his team-mate, who volleyed it sumptuously into the bottom corner.
Try as they might for a seventh goal, Shields just could not add to the scoring in the final 20 minutes.
Foley hit an effort not far wide, while substitute Carl Finnigan’s shot was destined for the net, only to hit team-mate Stephenson.
Morse went close twice – with one header cleared off the line – while Foley struck the post with a powerful low effort after being played in on the inside-right of the box.
In the end, it was the visitors who would have the final say on proceedings as their endeavours were rewarded.
Sandy twisted and turned inside the area, and then curled a superb effort into the top corner to give the travelling support something to cheer.
There was a whole lot more to cheer for the record-breaking home crowd, though, as Shields qualified for the last four of the FA Vase for the first time.
There is now great anticipation ahead of Monday’s draw.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Baxter, Lough, Shaw, Morse, Arca (c) (Nicholson 57), Briggs, Phillips, Cogdon (Finnigan 71), Richardson (Stephenson 67), Foley. Subs not used: Storey, Holden.
Goals: Foley (3), Phillips (6), Morse (23), Briggs (25), Cogdon (pen 64, 70).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.
South Shields winger Wayne Phillips has won the latest game of the club’s Bingo Lottery.
Wayne claimed the jackpot of £567.50 after matching all six of his numbers in a five-week period.
The game is played by all of the South Shields squad and coaching staff, as well as many supporters.
Now is the ideal chance to sign up for the next game, which will start with this coming Saturday’s National Lotto draw.
Participants select six numbers between one and 59, and can also enter with more than one set of numbers for £1 per week per line.
Each Saturday, any numbers which come out on the National Lotto draw are ticked off until the first participant(s) match all six of their selections, therefore winning the prize.
Entry tickets can be downloaded at the Bingo Lottery section of the club website, and can also be obtained by calling Bob Scott on 07920 554377 or Gary Crutwell on 07947 480054.
A polished away performance saw South Shields claim an eighth win in a row on Saturday as they got the better of Bishop Auckland at Heritage Park.
First half goals from Andrew Stephenson and Wayne Phillips were enough for the Mariners, who always had control of the game as they showed great patience on the ball.
The result kept Shields second in Northern League Division One ahead of Saturday’s table-topping clash with leaders North Shields at Mariners Park.
The Mariners quickly got on top of a Bishops side playing catch-up in the league, having reached the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup earlier this season.
Julio Arca sent an early free-kick wide, and then played in important part in the opening goal on five minutes.
He stepped in on a loose pass from the hosts at the back and found Robert Briggs, who threaded a pass through for Stephenson. He took it past the goalkeeper and kept his composure to finish low into the net.
As they had done at Morpeth Town two weeks previously, the Mariners threatened to run riot in the first half, and they could have gone 2-0 up soon after the opener when a quick break led to an opportunity for Phillips, but home goalkeeper Edward Wilczynski kept his effort out.
Wilczynski also did well to keep out a low shot from David Carson after the Shields midfielder gained possession in the centre before firing from outside the area.
At the other end, there were few chances for Bishops, but one of their few first half openings came when Shields gave it away at the back, and Liam Connell saved from Priestley Griffiths.
Phillips scored the goal of the game in the 27th minute as he kept up his fine form.
He stepped in on a loose ball after running in from the right, and dribbled across the pitch before beating Wilczynski with a delightful chip from outside the box.
The hosts almost pulled a goal back eight minutes before half-time when the ball broke to Adam Nicholls, but he could only hammer a shot not far wide.
Shields started the better of the two teams in the second half, and after a number of bright moves, Stephenson went close as Wilczynski was forced into a good save.
Substitute David Foley had a great chance to put the game out of sight when Carson dribbled into space in the box before cutting the ball back to him, but he was unable to hit the target as the ball cleared the crossbar.
Connell had to be alert at the other end as Bishops tried to put him under pressure, but he was up to the task as he palmed behind a powerful low effort from James Fairley.
Danger man Andrew Johnson hit one over for the home side, while debutant Leon Carling headed over from a corner as they aimed to find a way back into the game.
Shields, for their part, tried to wrap the points up, and Briggs curled a free-kick over before Foley turned his man on the edge of the box and hit a low shot which deflected into the hands of Wilczynski.
Bishops should have pulled a goal back with 11 minutes left when the ball was played across the box to substitute Chris Winn, but he miscued in front of goal and the Mariners were able to clear.
Michael Hoganson and Fairley were also off target late on as Shields preserved their clean sheet and were rewarded for another fine performance.
Next up is the derby with North Shields on Saturday at Mariners Park, for which tickets remain available by visiting the ground or calling 0191 454 7800.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Connell, Danny Carson, Callaghan, Arca (c), Morse, Shaw, Phillips (Ramsey 72), Briggs, Finnigan (Foley 43), David Carson, Stephenson. Subs not used: Baxter, Smith, Scroggins.
Goals: Stephenson (5), Phillips (27).
WORDS: Daniel Prince. IMAGE: Peter Talbot.