A Kyle Patton double helped North Shields to a place in the Techflow NFA Senior Cup Semi-Final; beating Division Two West Allotment 2-1.
After an even first half, Patton put Shields ahead four minutes after the restart with a left-foot volley.
However, West Allotment were level moments later through Matthew Hayton’s well-taken shot.
Patton’s second goal of the day with 12 minutes to go put the Robins within touching distance of the next round.
And despite missing a last-minute penalty, Shields were able to secure a hard-fought win on a still night at the Daren Persson Stadium.
West Allotment came out of the gate firing and after only one minute, Shane Donaghy’s long-range shot was comfortably saved by Greg Purvis.
Four minutes into the game, Ryan Carr could only head over the visiting goal from close range, after a pin-point Paul Robinson cross.
With three of the top four goalscorers in Division Two this season, it was no surprise to see West Allotment pressing forward early on.
In the sixth minute, Abubaker Salim tricked his way past Paul New on the touchline before sending in a low cross which missed Bruno Mendes-Correia in the centre of the box.
But after a brief moment of respite for both defences, it was the hosts who came closest to opening the scoring.
After Chris McDonald fizzed a cross into the box in the 15th minute, Scott McCarthy’s volley from the centre of the box cleared Finlay Hodgson’s crossbar.
The visitors were threatening again ten minutes later, this time through Hayton, but his shot from an angle was easily collected by Purvis.
The 27th minute saw another chance on goal for Allotment, with Shane Jones’ weak effort failing to trouble the Shields shot-stopper.
But Shields were still well in this game as three minutes later, Robinson’s effort from the edge of the area was smothered at his near post by Hodgson.
After a good period of passing, Shields were once again pressing the West Allotment defensive line. In the 36th minute, after collecting the ball, McCarthy smartly turned his marker just outside the area before curling the ball inches wide.
Just before the half time break, either side could have very easily taken the lead, but Hayton and McCarthy both saw efforts go agonizingly wide for their respective sides.
Whatever was said during the interval, it certainly worked for the Robins as in the 49th minute, an excellent cross from Nick Cassidy picked out the run of Patton, whose left-foot volley beat Hodgson from close range to give Shields the lead.
However, West Allotment weren’t behind for long when in the 53rd minute, the vision of Donaghy picked out Hayton bursting into the Robins box. With his first touch, the attacker’s shot beat Purvis at his far post to draw the visitors level.
Straight from the restart, Allotment could have even found themselves infront, when the hosts turned the ball over cheaply. Thankfully, Purvis was alert in the home goal to deny Jones’ strike.
The game was really opening up as both teams went in search of a second goal.
In the 57th minute, captain Adam Forster came close when he sent the ball across the face of the visiting goal, just beyond the outstretched leg of Patton.
For the first time in the game, West Allotment were struggling to clear the ball away to safety, gifting Shields numerous chances to attack.
Having been awarded a dangerous freekick in the 62nd minute, Cassidy saw his goalbound effort tipped over the crossbar by the keeper.
The 67th minute saw the best chance of the second half for Shields to regain the lead, only for Patton to shoot straight at the keeper when in acres of space.
Seconds later, the hosts thought they should have been awarded a penalty when McDonald was brought down by Hodgson, only for the referee to waive the claims away.
How the Robins hadn’t taken the lead was beggars belief when in the 70th minute, having caught the keeper off his line, Patton centred the ball to substitute Callum Smith, whose shot somehow found its way to the recovering keeper.
With 15 minutes to go, West Allotment were sitting deeper and deeper to try and repel the rampant Robins.
Some great hold up play from Smith in the 76th minute set Patton through on goal, only for Hodgson to smartly parry the ball away from goal.
However, three minutes later, the pressure finally paid off for Shields as they finally cracked the Allotment defence.
Collecting a through ball from Forster, McDonald whipped a beautiful cross to the far post, with Carr’s diving header being blocked on the line by a defender.
Luckily, the ball fell to Patton who, after navigating a sea of green & white legs, thumped the ball into the back of the net; handing Shields the advantage.
Having only just come on as a substitute, Connor Campbell made an immediate impression in the 83rd minute when he earned the Robins a penalty, after being bundled over in the area.
Stepping up in the hope of completing his hattrick, Patton was left disappointed when his spotkick sailed well over the crossbar.
But with tired legs beginning to set in for both teams, the Robins were able to hold on; securing their place in the Senior Cup Semi-Final.
North Shields Starting Eleven: Greg Purvis, Nick Cassidy, Chris McDonald, Gary Ormston, Paul New, Wayne Buchanan, Paul Robinson (Connor Campbell 78), Adam Forster (c), Scott McCarthy (Callum Smith 64), Ryan Carr, Kyle Patton (David Hall 91)
Yellow Cards: N/A
Unused Substitutes: Rhys Williams, Scott Shepherd
West Allotment Celtic Starting Eleven: Finlay Hodgson, Mikel Thompson, Luke Parkinson (Dean Walker 81), Jacob Forster, Jack Errington, Michael Scott, Bruno Mendes-Correia, Shane Donaghy, Matthew Hayton, Shane Jones, Abubaker Salim
Yellow Cards: Mikel Thompson 90
Unused Substitutes: Michael Trodd, Ryan Higgins, Callum Carney, Jason Bates