North Shields will begin their defence of the FA Vase with a home tie against fellow Northern Leaguers Ashington

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North Shields will begin their defence of the FA Vase with a home tie against fellow Northern Leaguers Ashington - the tie to be played on Saturday, November 21.

Remarkably, the Robins will also be hosting Steve Harmison’s Colliers in the quarter final of the Northumberland Senior Cup at the Daren Persson Stadium.

Graham Fenton’s men firstly though have a home League fixture on Saturday with Bishop Auckland (3pm) to concern them.

Last season the Robins completed a double over the Bishops as John Parker Denver Morris and Gareth Bainbridge all found the scoresheet as the Shieldsmen roared to a 3-0 success followed up by a 3-1 win on home soil.

This time Bainbridge bagged a brace and James Luccock converted another.

Then it is off to Willington’s Hall Lane Ground on Wednesday, 11 for a Northern League Cup clash (KO 7.30pm).

Their last visit to the County Durham side in September 2013 resulted in a 6-0 verdict as Shields went on to claim the Second Division championship and promotion.

The marksmen that day were Bainbridge with a hat-trick Dan Smart with a brace added to by a Keirh Douglas strike.

Shields had been running into a spell of impressive form but the brakes have come on after two unlikely defeats from West Allotment Celtic.

It is a much used adage that the Shieldsmen didnt have the rub of the green and were hit by some contentious decisions from the officials in both matches but even Allotment could barely disagree.

Shields travelled the short journey to Benton for an evening encounter hoping to avenge the earlier reverse but were without centre forward Dan Wilson, midfield maestro Michael McKeown, livewire Adam Forster and left-sided defender John Grey all joining Denver Morris on the treatment table.

The tone was set early on by the man in the middle when Dean Holmes was clattered right in front of him as the Shields front runner charged goalwards, but there was not a whistle from the referee notwithstanding any rebuke to the home offender.

Ben Richardson forced a fine save from Jack Wells between the home posts. Bainbridge twice went close and Ryan Carr struck the post with a sweet drive as Shields dominated the opening half with some fluid passing.

They were caught napping though three minutes into the second period falling behind to a Paul Kane header at the near post.

Kevin Hughes was forced into a dramatic goalline block when a second goal seemed certain, but it was when Shields were somehow denied the most blatant of penalties as Jack Donnison surged into the box only to be unceremoniously upended.

The assistant could not have been closer but chose to do nothing and the crowd erupted in fury and disbelief.

To compound matters Allotment charged to the other end and with Shields in disarray old boy David Henderson made it 2-0 and game over.