Robins bow out as Magpies eye silver.
North Shields 1-1 Newcastle United U23s (2-4 on penalties)
Quickly the game came to life as in the opening moments NUFC were camped on the edge of the North Shields box, however the organisation of the hosts prevented any real danger in the first minute of the game.
The pressure continued from the visitors, winning a free kick on the edge of the North Shields box. The strike for Jay Turner-Cooke was tame however and struck the red wall ahead.
A quiet 15 minutes followed the early action, North Shields making inroads down the left via Chris McDonald, a cross coming in, but ‘keeper Jake Turner gathered well.
Only four minutes later and the deadlock was broken. A close-range header from Brad Hird found its way past Turner after a blistering run down the right-hand side from David
Robinson, which found Dan Wilson who couldn’t turn it goalward, but instead found his strike partner.
It was almost double trouble for the Robins in the 23rd minute. Hird once again the focus as his fizzed effort was pulled agonisingly wide.
In the 32nd minute the visitors almost equalised. Stephenson advanced into a dangerous area and got his shot away, but the shot was blocked excellently by Jack Walker who slid to the rescue.
39 minutes into the game and another chance presented itself to the home side. Jack Walker marauding up the pitch found himself at the edge of the box, but his strike was too central and Turner gathered easily.
Half time North Shields FC 1-0 Newcastle United
Both sides came flying out the blocks once more, again in the favour of the visitors. A foul on the edge of the box by Chris McDonald saw Turner-Cooke step up to the set piece, and in the blistering rain and wind, the 18-year-old held his composure and excellently bent his strike over the wall and down to the right giving former NUFC academy keeper Olly Marshall no chance.
The conditions worsened which spoke to the liveliness of the game, a quiet 20 minutes followed the equaliser, until Peruvian Rodrigo Vilca fired a powerful 20-yard shot which was turned wide by Marshall on 65 minutes.
The 71st minute saw Marc Nash make his first substitution of the game. Jamie Norvell replacing Brad Hird.
Nine minutes later the last of Shields substitutions were used, as JJ Chrisp and Dan Turner coming on in place of Dan Wilson and Paul Van-Zandvliet.
Chrisp looked to threaten down the left-hand side in the dying minutes of the game. Frightening the NUFC fullback into conceding a corner kick.
Come the 90th minute there was nothing to separate the two sides, and the referee blew his whistle to send the game into penalties.
Niall Brockwell was to be the first taker, finishing his penalty well into the bottom left.
Ryan Carr stepped up for the hosts, but his powerful strike to the right was saved well by Turner
Turner-Cooke scored the second penalty for the visitors.
Gary Ormston stepped up and chalked up the Robin’s first penalty to make it 1-2
Brad Cross stepped up for Newcastle and hit his penalty wide. Striking the upright on its way out.
Jamie Norvell stepped up, and after replacing the ball on the spot due to the severity of the wind conditions. The youngster smashed the crossbar.
Adam Wilson and Chris McDonald finished their respective penalty kicks to make it 2-3.
Finally, stepped-up Santiago Munoz, who drove his strike into the bottom corner, sending NUFC to the final.
Final Score North Shields 1 (2)-(4) 1 Newcastle United U23s
North Shields Squad: Marshall, Cartwright, McDonald, Ormston, Myers, Walker, Robinson, Van-Zandvliet, Wilson, Carr, Hird
SUBS: Chrisp, Norvell, Turner
Newcastle United Squad: Turner, Barrett, Scott, Brockwell, Wigget, Cross, Turner-Cooke, Thomson, Stephenson, Vilca, Wilson
SUBS: Oliver, Munoz