Vase winners knock Town out of FA Cup

FA Cup: Bridlington Town 0 North Shields 2
FA Cup: Bridlington Town 0 North Shields 2

The road to Wembley ended at the first junction for Bridlington Town, as they were beaten by a side who enjoyed success at the home of football last season.

FA Vase holders North Shields had a little too much guile and strength for their hosts, who put up a gutsy display against opponents who had been clear favourites to progress when the draw for the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round was made.

The Seasiders were unfazed by the reputation of the Northern League side, and makeshift centre halves Craig Hogg and James Whittingham were outstanding in shackling the North East side’s free-scoring strikers.

Town’s Joel Sutton crashed a shot against the bar at the start of the second half, and Tom Fleming’s cross had bounced off the outside of a post in the opening 45 minutes.

But North Shields went ahead just after the hour mark, when defender John Parker’s wayward shot ended up turning into a perfect pass for winger Adam Forster, and he crossed to the back post where Parker showed he was much more accurate with his head, and he nodded past James Hitchcock.

Two minutes later, both sides were reduced to 10 men as Town skipper Fleming and his opposite number eight Curtis Coppen went head-to-head and were shown straight red cards.

In the closing stages, Town tried to force an equaliser and were caught on the counter attack in injury time as Jack Walker stroked home from 20 yards to seal the win.

The only downside for North Shields was a serious injury to winger Denver Morris, who was taken to hospital with knee ligament damage after an innocuous challenge on the halfway line in the first half.

Full report and pictures in this week’s Free Press.