North Shields knocked out of FA Vase
With dreams of replicating their 2015 FA Vase winning campaign, it was heartache for North Shields as they exited the competition at the Third Round stage.
The Robins were faced with the prospect of a tough task against Northern League Champions, Shildon.
Although the scoreline suggested otherwise, it was certainly a task Jon McDonald’s men stood up to as they applied enough pressure on the away side to win the tie.
Shildon finished two of their few chances, though Shields’ keeper, Sean McCafferty would have felt disappointed with himself for allowing the two strikes to beat him.
The tie started to intensify on 67 minutes when Shildon goalkeeper, Nick Liversedge received his marking orders after an incident involving Dean Holmes.
The sending off then fully galvanised McDonald’s side as substitute Denver Morris pulled on back with 15 minutes left play.
Unfortunately, an equaliser didn’t emerge for the 2015 Vase champions as the Robins supporters witnessed their players falling to the ground in disbelief as to how they hadn’t at least levelled the score.
The current Northern League leaders, who are on track to take Shildon’s crown, started the game in a more composed fashion before the tie turned in the away side’s favour.
A ball was lobbed into the area as Michael Rae beat McCafferty to head the ball into the net on eight minutes.
The visitors settled into the game after their opener, but again, the momentum swung in Shields’ path on 18 minutes when Holmes headed himself through on goal, though the winger unluckily struck the post North Shields were applying some dangerous pressure on Liversedge’s goal.
Still, Shildon had chances on the break. Goal-scorer Rae nearly hurt the hosts’ again when he struck the post before hitting it again in an offside position. Curtis Coppen then made an inception to deny the number nine a tap-in.
An equaliser continued to elude McDonald’s side with the visitors’ defence holding strong, but there was something for the Robins to build on when approaching the second-half.
And build-on they did as the perfect response almost came on 46 minutes when Holmes fired a shot agonisingly wide. The opportunity opened up a second-half that was a lot more one-way traffic for the hosts.
The 427 strong crowd were right behind their team, but they were left shocked when Amar Purewal doubled his side’s lead on 63 minutes.
The striker produced a tame shot from outside the area that keeper McCafferty parried into his own net.
Shildon’s joy of having some breathing space on the score-line was cut short when Liversedge was sent off just four minutes later for pushing Holmes to the ground in an off the ball incident.
With the visitors down to 10-men, the hosts had to make their one-man advantage count quickly, which they did when Morris thundered a shot into the top corner on 75 minutes.
North Shields gave everything they could to find a leveller, and they thought they had through Ryan Carr’s header, but celebrations were cut short by the offside flag.