North Shields’ proud unbeaten start to the league campaign fell at the 18th hurdle going down 3-2 at Jarrow Roofing.
It had to end some time of course but it looked as though Jon McDonald’s men had done enough in this encounter to keep the run going as they came from behind to lead 2-1 until the 79th minute.
The Robins were meeting Roofing for the fourth time already this campaign and had triumphed at the Boldon ground in a FA Cup replay back in August and made the trip over the Tyne in fine fettle following their 6-0 rout of Guisborough midweek.
Skipper Kevin Hughes returned to the side sporting the number two shirt he wore regularly some years ago and he saw his side press from the off.
Top scorer Lee Mason drove just over the angle, then Gareth Bainbridge found himself clear but dragged his effort wide of the post and Bobby Taylor headed just off target.
However, against the run of play the opener came at the other end as a corner kick wasn’t cleared and Michael Mackay bundled in the loose ball.
Shields responded and a Curtis Coppen goalbound drive was frantically blocked and though the rebound fell to Bainbridge an offside flag was raised.
On 26 minutes came the leveller following some great work up the right flank and Ryan Carr was able to slot home the centre with aplomb.
It continued largely one-way traffic and with eight minutes of the half left another flowing move was this time finished off by Mason who powered the ball past Andrew Jennison in the home goal.
It was little more than the Robins deserved but as the second half unwound they still only held that slender one-goal advantage and were unable to put the game to bed.
Injuries to Forster Mason and Carr meant Jon McDonald had to reshuffle his troops though the introduction of Denver Morris, fresh from his loan spell at Seaham warmed the travelling support
Morris immediately tormented the home rearguard with a couple of dazzling runs that just begged for a final touch.
Bainbridge netted but was adjudged offside but Shields were becoming too anxiious and paid the penalty.
Roofing sensed the Shieldsmen’s frustrations and began to push up and when a low cross was driven into the area Mackay scrambled in a leveller.
Taylor was within a whisker of restoring the Robins’ advantage but with the clock ticking towards the 90minute mark a free kick was flicked on to Paul Chow who headed in a dramatic winner
In stoppage time substitute Dan Wilson rifled over and time ran out on another comeback.