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North Shields 2 Heaton Stannington 2: Hard-earned point all but secures League Cup progression

Shields fight back twice against Heaton Stannington as two second half goals from Ryan Carr all but secure the Robin’s place in the next round of the Northern League Cup.

The hosts were 1-0 down at the break after Ryan Bailey converted from close range, following a free kick.

Carr’s second half equaliser was cancelled out with 10 minutes two go as Bailey picked up his second of the game.

However, Carr once again pulled the hosts level with a well-taken header from a Paul Robinson free kick.

And with the Robins only needing one point, the final whistle all but confirmed the Robins’ progression from Group A of the Northern League Cup.

The hosts were put under pressure by their Division Two opponents early on, with Heaton needing all three points to all but confirm their place in the next round.

However, both teams struggled initially to create any real chances on goal, with the game seeming to be stuck in the centre of the park.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 23rd minute, with Bailey finding enough space in the penalty area to side foot a volley past Greg Purvis, following a well-taken free kick.

Shields were struggling to match their opponents intensity and in the 33rd minute, a Regan Paterson cross shot hit the top of the crossbar; almost doubling Heaton’s lead.

Chances were few and far between for the Robins but in the 36th minute, Connor Campbell nearly levelled the scores with a powerful header, only to see the ball float wide.

The second half saw the Robins start far stronger than they did in the first and in the 54th minute, they had their equaliser.

With the Heaton defence stretched, a deflected cross found it’s way to the back post, with Carr’s cushioned header leaving visiting keeper Jonny Ball no chance.

As the game entered the final 20 minutes, both sides were pushing forward in search of a late lead.

And it was Heaton who really should have taken the lead once more in the 77th minute through Joe Kerridge, who fired a Jonathan Wright cross from close range over the bar.

But it wasn’t long before the Division Two side re-took the lead as only three minutes later, Bailey towered above the Robins defence to power his headed effort past Purvis and into the back of the net.

The Robins responded well to going a goal behind and in the 83rd minute, Carr was once again on hand to draw the hosts level with another superb header, this time from a dangerous Robinson cross.

And with the referee shortly blowing for full time, both sides were forced to settle for a point a piece.

This result means that the Robins are all but through to the next round of the League Cup, whilst Heaton Stannington will need Seaham Red Star to slip up against Billingham Synthonia or Newcastle University in order to progress.