North Shields all set for FA Vase semi-final first leg

North Shields will be hoping to beat Highworth Town goalkeeper Garry Stevens, pictured during his man of the match performance in the 1-0 quarter-final win over Tadcaster Albion. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
North Shields will be hoping to beat Highworth Town goalkeeper Garry Stevens, pictured during his man of the match performance in the 1-0 quarter-final win over Tadcaster Albion. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
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North Shields are hoping for a good following as they head to Wiltshire on Saturday to take on Highworth Town in the FA Vase semi-final first leg.

Whatever happens at the end of 90 minutes will only be half time in the encounter as both sides will look to secure their Wembley trip at the return leg scheduled for the Daren Persson Stadium on March 28.

Both matches are all-ticket and the Robins are hoping fans will be in fine voice for both legs.

In the other semi-final, AFC St Austell will be taking on Glossop North End.

This Vase run has seen the Shieldsmen win eight ties to reach this stage and has really stirred the mood of the North Shields public, unlike anything since Frank Brennan’s Braves became the only Northumberland club to win the FA Amateur Cup back in 1969.

Then the likes of Hendon, Skelmersdale and Sutton United (in the final) were despatched.

Subsequent exciting Cup runs in the early 1980s saw the Shieldsmen triumph at Halifax in the FA Cup then come out on top against the likes of Workington and Morecambe before bowing out at Barnet in the FA Trophy.

With the prospect of Wembley looming it is difficult for all to focus on the Northern League title chase and that Shields are one of six clubs still in with a shout.

At Billingham Synthonia midweek the Tynesiders went one up through Ryan Carr who latched onto a sublime through ball from Kieran Wrightson to finish with aplomb.

Shields though found themselves trailing 2-1 early in the second period with Michael Sweet and Tom Marron on target.

Subs Denver Morris with two assists and Gareth Bainbridge with a 16 minute hat-trick sent the travelling fans at Central Avenue into raptures as the final 4-2 scoreline was sweetly savoured.

North Shields: Bannon, Wrightson, Lancaster, McKeown, Coppen, Hughes, Luccock (Morris 57), Richardson, Day (Bainbridge 63), Carr, Holmes (Donnison 84). Subs (not used) Parker, Forster.