More than 200 minutes of breathtaking entertainment failed to find a winner between two quality sides and it took the lottery of a penalty shootout to determine the outcome.
Visitors Scarborough squeezed through courtesy of a 4-2 shootout but what a cup-tie – some say it was one of the greatest matches they have ever seen.
The Shieldsmen can be justly proud of their battling display even when down to nine men after two harsh dismissals; the passion and effort shown was exceptional.
A staggering five penalties were awarded by Newton Aycliffe official Chris Ellis who also waved cards about like confetti yielding to four players sent off and it was little wonder that the referee’s performance made him the centre of attention and was the major talking point afterwards.
The Robins drew first blood when Curtis Coppen drilled in a beauty after eight minutes but that advantage was soon cancelled out as Mr Ellis warmed up with the first of his points to the spot and Gary Bradshaw converted.
When Jack Donnison went down in the box Shields hot-shot Gareth Bainbridge was given his chance and it was 2-1 but before the turnaround a Bradshaw free kick from out wide sailed into the top corner.
Into the second period and Bradshaw was handed an opportunity to complete a hat trick but David Morton saved his penalty attempt.
Scarborough were given yet another award soon after and in an incident that baffled most as Shields’ skipper Kevin Hughes’ tackle was deemed worthy of a second yellow.
Ryan Williams this time was trusted with the kick and made it 3-2 then Ben Richardson retaliated after having his shirt pulled and the hosts were down to nine.
Shields though have great spirit and ten minutes from the whistle Kieran Wrightson forced extra time after Dean Holmes’ penalty had been parried by Jason White.
Only two minutes into the extra period though and Paul Robson’s cross-cum-shot went in off the far post to put the Seadogs in front again.
Play swung from end-to-end as Shields refused to lie down and a great finish from livewire Adam Forster in the 112th minute brought the house down.
Amid unbearable tension Scarborough were rattled and themselves had two men – Matty Plummer and Danny Chambers – sent off so it finished 9-9 with players left on the field and 4-4 on the scoresheet.
North Shields: Morton, Donnison, Grey, Coppen, Parker, Hughes, Walker (Luccock), Forster, Bainbridge (Wrightson), Richardson, Holmes (Elliott). Subs (not used): Turner, Smith, Hook, Bowman.