Mariners Under-18s into FA Youth Cup first round with dramatic penalty shootout win over York
South Shields booked their place in the first round of the FA Youth Cup for the third time in four seasons with a dramatic penalty shootout win over York City at 1st Cloud Arena.
The young Mariners held a one-goal lead for much of the third qualifying round tie after Olly Cresdee’s deflected 20 yard strike gave them a 21st minute lead.
York cranked up the pressure in search of an equaliser, though, and found it from the penalty spot with just quarter-of-an-hour remaining.
The sides ultimately could not be separated over 90 minutes and the match went straight to penalties, where Callum Dobson proved to be Shields’ hero with two superb saves to seal his side’s progression into the competition proper.
The first opportunity of the night was created by the visitors when Shields half-cleared a cross from the right but the ball dropped to the feet of Jonny Haase, whose 20 yard drive was blocked by Alfie Marriott.
York went even closer in the ninth minute as Kieran Clayton wriggled into some space down the left of the area and found Kyle Lancaster, but his effort from close range struck a combination of Bryan Taylor and Harvey Smith on the line as Shields survived unscathed.
It was a difficult opening to the game for the young Mariners as they attempted to establish a foothold.
They had their first attempt at goal on 16 minutes, with Olly Cresdee’s shot from distance taking a deflection before nestling in the hands of Minstermen goalkeeper Michael Hogan.
Another speculative effort from Cresdee was nicked by a defender just minutes later, but this time it had the desired effect as the ball looped over Hogan and into the net to hand Shields the lead.
The Mariners had to defend that advantage almost immediately, with Jack Watson producing a vital headed interception in the six-yard box just as York looked set to equalise.
Just after the half-hour mark, Max Ezard thought he had levelled things up for the visitors as he powered an effort towards goal. Shields goalkeeper Dobson had other ideas, though, as he stretched to make a tremendous one-handed save before Josh Knowles sent the rebound into the side netting.
Knowles again threatened moments later, but this time Marriott got his body in the way to make a brave block.
The home side were showing tremendous resolve to defend their lead and they did so more comfortably in the closing stages of the first half as they took a one-goal advantage into the break.
Dobson was forced into action less than four minutes into the second half as he tipped an Elliot Algar free-kick over the bar.
Marriott later cleared off the line after Lancaster drove inside from the right and hit a low shot towards goal, and further opportunities came and went for the visitors when Elliot Owen and Ben Dale both headed over from corners.
Shields burst into life midway through the second half as Cresdee and James McGeorge linked up down the right. Hogan closed the angle well and made a decent save from McGeorge to prevent the hosts doubling their advantage.
York were awarded a penalty on 75 minutes as Dobson challenged substitute Jonny Shepherd, who picked himself up to convert from the spot and level the scores.
Marriott superbly blocked from Exard as York threatened to complete their comeback with a late winner, but neither side could find a crucial third goal as the tie went to penalties.
Dobson and Hogan both produced fine saves as both sides failed to convert their first spot-kick, before the next eight penalties were scored, with Charlie Walker, Luke Duffy, Smith and Cresdee notching for Shields.
As the shootout went to sudden death, Dobson made a terrific save to his right to give Jack Watson the chance to seal the win for the Mariners, which he duly took to book their place in the first round.
South Shields: Dobson, Watson, Taylor (Bell 59), Marriott, Morgan, Smith, Walker, Fletcher (Duffy 70), Waldon, McGeorge (c) (Kidd 84), Cresdee. Subs not used: Seymour, Johnstone, Scurfield, Duffy, Kidd, Thompson.
Goal: Cresdee (21).
Image: Kev Wilson.