Something had to give when two unbeaten sides met and, unhappily for the Robins their FA Cup hopes ended at the first hurdle at Throstle Nest, home of Farsley AFC.
Shields had gone out of this competition only after a replay in each of the last three seasons but this time there wasn’t to be another chance.
Albion Sports have powered their way through the divisions in recent years and led at the break despite being second best for sizeable periods.
Robins’ Kieran Wrightson had the ball in the net inside two minutes but the effort was ruled out with a decisive incident occurring just after the half hour.
Albion’s Dan Walker saw his header deflected past his own keeper by Kevin Hughes and the Tynesiders trailed, unlucky again when Bainbridge’s header rattled the bar.
In the second period Smart beat the keeper but not the woodwork and Michael Robinson kept the Robins in it with a string of quality saves as Albion strove for a second.
Pushing up Shields finally succumbed eight minutes from time as Alex Cusack struck.
Robins boss Graham Fenton reflected: “We were on top but couldn’t put away our chances.
“You can’t legislate for an unfortunate own goal and from that point we had to chase the game rather than them.”
North Shields: M Robinson, Elliott, Mbiavanga (Hook 38), Richardson, Parker, Hughes, Forster, Wrightson (Scope 58), Bainbridge, Smart, Carr (Douglas 74). Subs not used: Donnison, Cartwright, Wright, Bowman.
On Saturday, August 24, Shields are away to Washington, 3pm.