North Shields continue attack on two fronts

North Shields now know their FA Vase opponents who stand between them and a return to Wembley.

Some Robins fans remember the glory days of 1969 and nearly everyone in the town is dreaming of a trip to London.

The Shieldsmen will travel to face Highworth Town – near Swindon – who currently hold a mid-table position in the Hellenic Premier Division on Saturday, March 21.

Highworth won a feisty affair in their replay at Tadcaster at the weekend and will come north for the second leg at the Daren Persson Stadium on Saturday, March 28.

Graham Fenton’s lads are still firing on another front – that of the Northern League Championship.

They played out a 1-1 draw at the weekend against West Allotment Celtic, in a game ruined by a strong wind.

Assistant boss Andy Bowman said: “We were well on top in the first period, went behind with a bizarre strike with no one quite sure whether it crossed the line or not.

“Ben Richardson then struck a pearler of a free kick to equalise and then Curtis Coppen struck the Allotment woodwork.

“In the second half we struggled against the wind and Wilf Keilty’s lads should really have won it. We’ve got to be happy with a point in the end.”

Last week the side completed a league double over Bishop Auckland midweek.

The Robins made seven changes to the side that triumphed at Erith and Belvedere and included new acquisition Sam Bramley in defence.

Denver Morris set up Gareth Bainbridge to deliver another crisp finish but Andrew Johnson quickly levelled.

Bishops then had striker John Butler red carded and the mid-table outfit found themselves under the cosh.

Shields were not able to produce their normally tantalisingly flowing football but still had enough to deflate the visitors with two late strikes.

Firstly James Luccock sealed a superb move with an 83rd minute finish then Bainbridge made the points safe with a trademark finish after a surging run by Morris created the opening.

North Shields: Robinson, Elliott, Grey, Coppen, Parker, Bramley (McKeown 59), Morris, Wrightson (Richardson 59), Bainbridge, Carr (Day 72), Luccock. Subs (not used) Donnison, Bannon.

On Saturday North Shields host Penrith (3pm).