North Shields 3 Ryton & Crawcrook Albion 2: Late McCarthy magic as Robins edge five goal thriller
Scott McCarthy scored a late winner as North Shields progressed to the Quarter Final of the Northern League Cup; beating Ryton & Crawcrook Albion 3-2.
Kyle Patton scored with seconds remaining in the first half to give the hosts the lead heading into the break.
Ryan Carr then doubled the advantage midway through the second period, finishing off Nick Cassidy’s corner.
RACA thought they had taken the game to penalties, with substitute Sam Norris scoring a late quick-fire double.
But McCarthy fired home a Cassidy freekick with minutes to spare, at a gusty Daren Persson Stadium, to maintain the Robins’ cup run.
Callum Smith almost got Shields off to a perfect in the second minute but after bursting into the box, his shot was blocked by Liam Barker before the ball was cleared.
Shields kept the pressure up and in the 13th minute, a long-range shot from Chris McDonald stung the palms of RACA keeper David Hansen.
Ryton had to wait until the 24th minute for their first chance on goal, with Jamie Dunn’s effort from outside the box saved by Greg Purvis.
In the 30th minute, Tyler Davis almost gave RACA the lead against the run of play, with his deep swinging freekick almost sneaking in at the far post.
But almost immediately, the hosts had a great chance of their own when an inviting ball from Paul Robinson was nodded narrowly wide by Patton.
With seconds remaining in the half, the Robins finally had the breakthrough when a perfectly executed pass from Robinson picked Smith out on the wing.
After cutting inside of his marker, Smith’s cross found Patton in the centre of the box, leaving the attacker to turn sharply and finish into the bottom corner.
The Robins were enjoying plenty of possession in the second half but were struggling to break down the resolute RACA defence, with Hansen tipping Robinson’s long range goal over the crossbar.
However, in the 68th minute, Shields were able to double their lead when Carr was given far too much space to hammer home Cassidy’s menacing corner kick.
Not long after, the Robins should have scored a third when great play between Forster and Patton allowed Smith all the space in the world to shoot. The former Dunston attacker, with the goal gaping, took far too long, allowing Hansen the time to recover and block his effort.
The hosts were immediately made to pay, with substitute Norris carving his way through the Robins defence in the 75th minute to reduce the arrears.
And with under ten minutes remaining, Ryton drew level when James Thompson’s diagonal pass allowed Norris the time to fire into the bottom corner.
But in the last minute of normal time, with penalties beckoning, substitute McCarthy connected with a Cassidy freekick; taking one touch of the ball before hammering his shot into the roof of the net.
As a result of this win, North Shields progress to the Quarter-Final of the Northern League Cup; alongside West Allotment Celtic, Shildon, Newton Aycliffe, Newcastle Benfield, Consett, West Auckland Town and Whickham or Guisborough Town.