By Rory Drake
A first-half strike from Jack McNally wasn’t enough for Gateshead’s U18s as hosts South Shields completed a second-half comeback to progress to the third qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup.
McNally put the Heed in front after half an hour at Mariners Park as a goalkeeping error saw him left with an open goal.
But the Mariners fought back after the break with Ethan Biwer, Bailey Judson and Michael Annang-Colquhoun all finding the net to send the Shields through.
Post-game, under 18s’ manager Gary Middleton said: “The lads are obviously disappointed at the end of the game.
“I thought we did some very good things in the first half. We played really well, kept our shape, played to a game plan which ultimately worked for 45 minutes, but we did say at half-time that we needed to continue to keep doing what we were doing well.
“Unfortunately, Shields came out of the traps very well and put us under a lot of pressure in the first 20 minutes of the second half.
“We stopped doing what we had done well for the first 45, which ultimately meant we conceded three goals in that spell which was a disappointment.
“The first one’s taken a wicked deflection and was probably going wide or the goalkeeper would have saved it. I thought the penalty was a bit harsh, but these things happen. You get these decisions in football and you’ve got to get on with it.
“It came a bad time for us, but we stuck with it, showed a lot of character and I think the effort from the lads did the football club proud.”
South Shields: Bramley; Yembe, Lockey, Carney (Elcoate 53’), Patterson, Ornarbay, McCamley (Minchella 83’), Biwer, Annang-Colquhoun, Sam Hodgson (Ames 83’), Judson
Unused subs: Croft, Ethan Hodgson
Goals: Biwer (59), Judson (66), Annang-Colquhoun (76)
Gateshead: Wright (Doxford 72’), Cooper, Creighton, Symons, Garrity, McHarg, McKeown (Chapman 60’), Dickson, McNally (Statt 82’), Dinsley, Cranston
Unused subs: Suddick, Botcherby
Goals: McNally (32)
Bookings: Garrity (67)
Referee: C Joyce