Morecambe’s youngsters suffered a disappointing away defeat to South Shields in the first round of the FA Youth Cup.
Despite taking the lead, the Shrimps were undone by late drama at Mariners Park.
It was a frantic start, with both teams looking to get forward at every opportunity. Morecambe created an early chance, when a corner led to a goal-mouth scramble, but the home side managed to clear.
Shields were threatening on the counter, with Will Morris and Captain Sam Hodgson offering plenty of pace in attack. For the Shrimps, Abimbola Obasoto proved a handful down the left and delivered a series of inviting crosses as the visitors looked to create an opening.
The breakthrough came on 13 minutes, when Amilcar Djau Codjovi stole the ball in midfield and advanced on the Shields penalty area, to calmly slot past the keeper and put Morecambe ahead.
South Shields responded, forcing a number of set pieces, but couldn’t break down a well-organised Morecambe defence. Will Jenkins came closest, with a shot from close range which was blocked by Bakare, to preserve the Shrimps’ lead at half-time.
The home side came out for the second period re-energised and looked to have made the breakthrough when Will Morris tapped in a rebound after a Sam Hodgson shot had been parried by keeper Mendes, but celebrations were cut short by the assistant’s flag; ruling the effort offside.
As Shields continued to force Morecambe back, they got their reward when a corner in the 65th minute was swung in by Stephen Black and headed home by Ben Errington, to level the tie at 1-1.
The equaliser stung Morecambe into action and the young Shrimps created their best chances of the second period in the closing stages. Freddie Price saw two attempts come close, as a long range shot fizzed past the post and a subsequent free-kick also went agonisingly wide.
With the tie looking to be heading for extra-time, the home side snatched a late winner. Following excellent work down the left by Will Jenkins, his cross was poked home by Joao Gomes in the 93rd minute. It was the cue for wild celebrations.
Mariners Park erupted and the Shrimps were left empty-handed at the end of a pulsating cup-tie.
South Shields: Hodgson, Black, Croft, Ames, Wade, Errington, Morris, Black, Hodgson, Jenkins, Gomes. Subs: Agnew, Steavens, Williamson, Ryland, Spraggon, Taylor, Dunn.
Morecambe: Mendes, Farrington, Edwards, Morton, Bakare, Giwa, McKenzie, Lowe, Price, Djau Codjovi, Obasoto. Subs: O’Brien, Shogbeni, Ly, Greenwood, Beverley, Edgar, Crossley.
(Photographs courtesy of Kev Wilson Photography @kevwilson19)