It just was not to be for North Shields at Dean Street on Saturday as last season’s Northern League runners-up Shildon won 2-0.
The Railwaymen are an experienced outfit and held firm after taking a 12th minute lead as the Robins tried all they knew only to concede a decisive second in the closing moments.
The win keeps Shildon in pole position with Shields’ encouraging unbeaten run brought to an end.
Shildon had edged the Shieldsmen on their own patch 3-2 last season with Denver Morris bagging a brace for the Robins, but prior to that it had been 1988 that the Tynesiders, then managed by Jim Pearson, had visited the Durham club to inflict a 5-1 drubbing on their hosts with Don Peattie (2), Keith Mills, Martin Henderson and Paul Ferris all on the scoresheet.
After Saturday’s defeat, assistant manager Andy Bowman said: “We started really well and they scored against the run of play.
“The lads had a lot of the ball without penetrating and their keeper wasn’t particularly tested.
“They grabbed the big moments but overall you can’t be too critical of our performance - we were well pleased in all aspects other than the end result.”
Shildon had the incentive of Moore’s early strike but Dean Holmes posed all sorts of problems for the Railwaymen and came in for some crude challenges which saw the host defenders receive a number of yellow cards.
Holmes was desperately unlucky not to level matters as the Shildon backline was ripped open but his shot came back off the inside of the post..
Michael McKeown too was revelling in midfield but following an injury to left back Jordan Summerly, Shields were forced to reshuffle and Kevin Hughes came on with Curtis Coppen pushed forward.
Shields were right in it and at the start of the second period centre back John Parker unleashed a screamer that went close.
Sean McCafferty, once more donning the gloves, made a couple of confident saves but most of the action was at the home end.
However, as Shields pushed more men forward they were caught out on 82 minutes a corner found Connor who was able to flick the ball over the Shields custodian.
North Shields: McCafferty, Donnison, Summerly (Hughes), McKeown, Parker, Coppen, Ormston (Carr), Richardson, Bainbridge, Wilson (Luccock), Holmes. Subs not used: Grey, Walker.
Highlights of Saturday’s game can be seen at North Shields FC’s You Tube page.
Shields host Newcastle Benfield on Wednesday, kick off 7.30pm at the Daren Persson Stadium.
Then its a double header with West Allotment Celtic at home on Saturday, October 24, at 3pm and the return at Benton on Friday, October 30, at 7.30pm.
In the quarter-final of the Northumberland Senior Cup, North Shields have been drawn at home to Ashington.