On a character building bitterly cold night on Tyneside, Newcastle United’s young stars had an interesting match.
It was North Shields v Newcastle United for a place in the Northumberland Senior Cup final.
Each year the young Newcastle players get the chance to compete against the local battle-hardened experienced non-league players, with the reserves playing in this cup competition.
A strong looking United side saw five players chosen who had first team experience.
However, it was North Shields who totally dominated the first half, taking the lead after only seven minutes with a scrambled goal from a corner.
Going in at the break looking very comfortable against their professional opponents, the home side looked set for straightforward progress – but as so often happens, goals change games.
With more or less their first chance of the night, Newcastle equalised when Vuckic scored from close range, from that point on it was Newcastle in the ascendancy.
Despite taking control, Newcastle struggled to create and the match drifted into extra-time. Something the healthy 600+ crowd must have had mixed feelings about as they tried to keep warm.
Just under 10 minutes into extra time and recent Spanish import Victor Fernandez was stripped for action but neither he nor anybody else could find the winner, meaning penalties would be needed.
A very average game then became a nail-biter as the two teams matched each other all the way, every player ending up taking a penalty and after 22 of them, it was 9-9, with two missed for each team. It was promising young local striker Lewis McNall and Spaniard Victor Fernandez failing to convert and allow the crowd to get back home to the central heating.
Starting off once again, this time Newcastle’s Jack Hunter failed to convert and North Shields won it 10-9 as their player beat Nathan Harker in the United goal.
North Shields 1 Newcastle United 1 (North Shields win 10-9 on penalties)
Harker, Williams, Good, Gibson (Bailey 53), Findlay, Hunter, Barlaser, Holmes (Fernandez 98), Ward (McNall 74), El-Mhanni, Vuckic