Morecambe manager Stephen Robinson says, irrespective of the result, it was a productive evening on the East Coast for his side.
A brace from Matty Daly for the hosts alongside a Shane McLoughlin chip and a Callum Jones spot kick was enough to send the tie to a penalty shootout, which the hosts won 4-2.
Despite defeat, Robinson was able to take away several positives from a wet and rainy evening in the North East.
“We got what we needed out of the game,” he said.
“Obviously not the result again in this competition, but we made nine changes, Aaron Wildig, his first game in weeks after illness, Connor Pye making his debut for the club which is great.
“I thought Freddie Price did well as well, Jonah Ayunga’s first start for months now, we got out of it what we really wanted, the minutes and the game time.
“Some are a lot closer to the first team than others, but you don’t know that until you get them minutes into the legs, and it’s better than reserve football.
“That’s the reality when you make nine changes, you probably accept it’s going to be a bit topsy turvy with the results, but that’s what we use the competition for.”
Before the game, the 46-year-old emphasised the importance of changes within the starting XI, and he says he was pleased with the youngsters that came in and did a job.
Robinson added: “He’s [Connor Pye] trained with us all season, we didn’t let him go out on loan because we believed that staying with us and being in this group would improve him, and it certainly has.
“He had a few wee nervy moments to start with, but showed great character which we know he has, and he grew in quality.
“He tired a little bit towards the end, but he has had covid as well two or three weeks ago, which is obviously difficult to recover from, but I’m delighted with him tonight.
“That’s the big plus, I thought Freddie [Price] worked his socks off tonight and was unlucky not to score, as I say Jonah [Ayunga] getting full 90 minutes, Aaron Wildig getting another 90 minutes.
“The people that we wanted to get game time got it, and as I say, it’s better than reserve football.”