South Shields U18s 3 North Shields U18s 1: Cup dream over as Young Robins fall to local rivals

The Robins’ hopes of another FA Youth Cup run were dashed as they fell 3-1 to South Shields at a soggy Mariners Park.

Two late first half goals from Sam Hodgson and Will Jenkins gave South Shields the lead heading into the break.

A third strike from Mariners striker Joao Gomes midway through the second half seemed to put the game to bed.

A wonderful Josh Skivington freekick threatened a late comeback for the visitors.

However, with conditions worsening, The Robins’ efforts fell just short as they bowed out of the FA Youth Cup.

The hosts started strongly and in the tenth minute, after a defensive mixup, Sam Hodgson almost bundled the ball home to give the Mariners the lead. However, the Robins’ defence was able to compose itself in time to scupper the chance.

Six minutes later and it was Sam Hodgson who was once again causing the Robins’ defence problems. This time, his deflected shot was comfortably saved by Ethan Dodgson.

In the 20th minute, Sam Hodgson should have done better with a headed effort, from a whipped cross, but his poor connection caused the ball to fly wide.

As the heavens opened, both sides initially struggled to deal with the howling wind and rain.

However, in the 37th minute, the Robins created their first real opening of the game when Jamie Clark’s deep cross deflected off the crossbar before the rebound was stabbed wide.

The Robins were immediatly punished as only one minute later, the Mariners opened the scoring through that man Sam Hodgson, when the young striker fired home after a goalmouth scramble.

Things went from bad to worse for the Robins as two mintues later, the Mariners lead was doubled when Jenkins’ long-range effort took a bounce over the diving Dodgson before nestling into the bottom corner.

Despite being two goals down, the young Robins kept pressing forward and in the 44th minute, a flowing attacking move involving Antonio Agostinho ended with Clark’s shot bobbling narrowly wide of the upright.

They came even closer on the stroke of half time when Josh Skivington’s freekick from all of 30 yards looped in the air before Mariners keeper Ethan Hodgson scrambled back to tip the ball over the bar.

Conditions worsened even more in the second half but in the 54th minute, Sam Hodgson’s strike cannoned off the bottom of the post before being cleared to safety.

Robins keeper Dodgson was having a strong game and if not for a terrific save in the 61st minute, the game would have well and truly been settled.

In the 64th minute, the young Robins had a golden chance to pull a goal back when a fantastic piece of play from Agostinho allowed Clark to burst through on goal. His shot, however, flew over the crossbar from the edge of the six yard box.

Skivington tried his luck on goal once again in the 68th minute, only to see his shot from the edge of the box sliced wide.

And after it looked like the Robins were beginning to control the game, South Shields struck for a third time in the 70th minute when Gomes curled the ball past Dodgson from just inside the box.

The Robins did pull a goal back shortly afterwards when Skivington’s incredible freekick whistled into the top corner of the net from distance.

However, there wasn’t enough time to mount what would have been an impressive comeback as the young Robins were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup.