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Stockton Town U18’s 2 North Shields U18s’ 4: Skivington leads comeback as Robins progress in FA Youth Cup

A Josh Skivington freekick sparked an amazing comeback as the Young Robins overcame a 2-1 deficit to beat Stockton Town 4-2 in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Youth Cup.

An early Jamie Clark penalty gave the Robins the lead, only for two Stockton goals to give the hosts a great chance of progressing.

However, after Skivington levelled the score with a late freekick, Antonio Agostinho gave the Robins the lead in the first half of extra time; finishing off a well-worked move.

And with Stockton trying to force the game into a penalty shootout, Skivington lobbed the keeper from 25 yards out to secure the Robins place in the next round.

The Robins started brightly and in the fourth minute, Skivington almost capitalised when the Anchors keeper mis-kicked the ball. With the goal gaping, the young midfielder was unable to convert after the shot-stopper pulled off a tremendous save.

After surviving that scare, Stockton began to grow into the game and managed to put the Robins defence under pressure.

However, in the 12th minute, they gave the Robins a golden chance to open the scoring when a defender felled Agostinho in the penalty area. Clark took responsibility for the spot kick and sent the keeper the wrong way, giving Shields a one goal lead.

Stunned into action, Stockton began to press once again and in the 16th minute, they came within inches when an attacker rounded the keeper before trying the centre the ball. Thankfully for the Robins, a defender was on hand to clear the ball off the line and to safety.

It seemed like Stockton was growing into the game and in the 26th minute, they deservedly drew level, after an attacker muscled his way past his marker before firing low into the bottom corner of the net.

The Robins were dealt a blow moments later after Clark was clattered in the Stockton half, leaving the young forward unable to continue.

This seemed to affect the visitors as Stockton kept piling the pressure on, with the half time break looming.

However, just before the ref blew his whistle, Stockton were awarded a penalty of their own after a Shields defender pulled on a Anchors shirt. The penalty was safely dispatched and the hosts entered the break 2-1 infront.

Five minutes after the break, the Robins came close to drawing the game level with a well taken freekick, only to see the young Stockton keeper get his body behind the ball.

The hosts were piling on more pressure and a third goal was looking more likely. In the 62nd minute, Shields keeper Ethan Dodgson pulled off a tremendous save to deny a Stockton freekick.

Despite struggling to maintain possession of the ball, the Robins were gifted a chance after being awarded a freekick in a dangerous position. Skivington confidently stepped up and whipped the ball beyond the outstretched fingertips of the diving keeper; levelling the score in the process.

With seconds remaining before regular time ended, Stockton thought they had snatched the victory after a rasping shot looked to be heading for the top corner. The Robins were lucky as instead of hitting the back of the net, the ball cannoned off the crossbar before being cleared.

With extra time having begun, both teams were pushing forward in search of a third goal. However, it was the Robins who struck first when a brilliant passing move set Agostinho through on goal, with the young striker taking a touch before calmly passing the ball beyond the keeper to give Shields the lead.

Time was running out for the hosts and just after the second half of extra time had begun, their chances of getting something from this game disappeared.

After another well worked midfield move, Skivington collected the ball out wide, around 25 yards out from goal. Seeing the keeper off his line, he audaciously tried to lob the keeper from range and was successful in doing so, with the ball nestling into the top right corner of the net.

Stockton could only manage one further chance on goal before the referee blew for full time, with Dodgson once again pulling off a tremendous save to keep the score as it was.