North Shields continue their Wembley trail – 45 years on from their success in the Amateur Cup.
They will now have to face fellow Northern League opposition for the fifth time in six matches as the Fourth Round draw sees them hosting Consett on January 17.
As expected Graham Fenton’s Shieldsmen knew it would be a testing clash at Seaham Town Park against the Second Division leaders but the Robins started with gusto and deserved more than a slender goal lead at the break.
That came midway through the half – a celebrated first of the season from hard-working midfielder Ben Richardson with home keeper Shaun Newbrook performing heroics to keep out efforts from hot-shot Gareth Bainbridge and outstanding full back Marc Lancaster.
It looked all over once Bainbridge struck twice on the resumption to make it 3-0 and Shields reshuffled but the hosts had other ideas.
Josh Home-Jackson struck then Seaham shouted for a penalty that Adam Johnson converted.
Seaham’s hopes were soon dampened when Richardson wrapped up the tie with a stunning free kick – a strike of real quality and aplomb.
The match was marred in the closing moments as Star, obviously frustrated, completely lost their discipline and both Lewis Wing and Darren Reay were shown straight red cards.
Shields though kept their dignity and their style to delight their fans once more.
North Shields:- Bannon, Wrightson, Lancaster, McKeown (Coppen 66), Parker, Hughes, Morris (Luccock 83), Forster, Bainbridge, Richardson, Holmes. Subs (not used) Robinson, Carr, Walker.
North Shields 3
The Robins produced a stunning comeback to preserve their unbeaten home record.
The sides had last met in a Northern League match at North Shields back in 1984 with Micky Carroll, Ian Mutrie and Paul Ross netting for the Tynesiders in a 3-2 win.
No one at the Daren Persson Stadium would have predicted a similar scoreline as the Colliers led by two goals at the break.
Graham Fenton’s Shieldsmen had previously leaked only two league goals all season at home, with a crucial penalty save by Chris Bannon keeping his side afloat and galvanised the Robins into a devastating response come the turnaround.
Kyle Oliver was the early Ashington marksman, twice on target but being denied by Bannon of his hat trick though the Robins had chances of their own with Ryan Carr agonisingly close with a header.
It was Carr who was grounded seconds after the resumption and up stepped Gareth Bainbridge to clinically despatch the spot kick against his old club.
Game on now and such is the Robins resolve and style that when Denver Morris was introduced he latched onto a sublime through ball from Michael McKeown to jubilantly slot in the equaliser.
On 79 minutes came the clincher and one to savour as Curtis Coppen superbly clipped home a Ben Richardson corner to send the home faithful into raptures.
Shields are in league action at Billingham Synthonia on Saturday (3pm) then host Guisborough Town on Wednesday, December 17 (7.45pm).