Cullercoats Under-21s were in Northumberland Under-21 League action at home to high-flying Forest Hall on Sunday, their first competitive game in over a month.
The game was fiercely contested throughout and played to a high standard on a difficult pitch.
Forest Hall took the early initiative and forced the play with good pace down both wings, but Cullercoats defended well playing into the wind, and their keeper David Cooper made several excellent saves and blocks to keep the game level.
However, Forest Hall made their advantage count from a free kick just outside the area on the left, which took a wicked bounce in front of the keeper to make the score 1-0 at the break.
Cullercoats made a positive start to the second period and Gareth Stephenson swept in a shot from the left side of the penalty area to level the score before Jake Greener put them into the lead with an excellent finish five minutes later as the home side started to dominate midfield.
Forest Hall continued to press and scored the goal of the game with an excellent shot from 25 yards which levelled it at 2-2.
In the final minute Cullercoats were awarded a free kick on the left edge of the penalty area, which was delivered into a packed box and forced home by Jake Newstead to win it 3-2 at the death.
Cullercoats Under-21s travel to Seaton Burn Sunday with a 2pm kick-off.