Match report featured in the Sunday Sun. By Nathan Bell.
South Shields knocked Scunthorpe United out of the FA Cup on Saturday – and for the second time in three seasons defeated National League opposition on their way to the first round.
A record-attendance this season of 2,353 saw Dylan Mottley-Henry nod the Mariners into the lead, and ultimately the next round, from a swinging cross off the back of a deflected strike in the 13th minute.
South Shields fans might think back to their historic 2-0 win at FC Halifax Town in 2020, also in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup at the 1st Cloud Arena.
Scunthorpe started strongly and reminded supporters at times why they sit two divisions above the Mariners. To say South Shields did not hold their own, however, would disservice Kevin Phillips’ side emphatically.
Cameron Wilson and Alfie Beestin combined for the visitors before setting up midfielder Dan Gallimore in the sixth minute, but South Shields’ Boney comfortably caught the ball.
Only moments later, Elliott Whitehouse placed a cleanly-hit corner into the range of Iron’s captain, Andrew Boyce, who was unable to do much as the ball sailed over the crossbar.
But despite Scunthorpe’s strong start, South Shields made the most of their chances.
Mottley-Henry overpowered Scunthorpe’s disordered defence and tapped the ball gently past Scunthorpe’s Marcus Dewhurst who could not do anything about it.
There is nothing comparable to the atmosphere of a giant-killing FA Cup game and it is days like these which remind supporters how beautiful football can still be.
Chances were few and far between before the interval, but a moment of quality in the 26th minute arose when Wilson and former Blackpool man, Joe Nuttall, worked the ball among themselves before launching two separate strikes at Boney.
The first shot was held while the second was knocked away immediately after.
On the brink of half-time, Nuttall walked on the edge of the box for Scunthorpe but he was stopped in his tracks by South Shields’ Blair Adams.
South Shields started the second half enthusiastically which paved the way for successive strikes in the early segment.
Mackenzie Heaney rolled the ball to Robert Briggs in the 50th minute, but Dewhurst caught his chance getting down to his left.
Mottley-Henry and Michael Woods followed up only a few minutes later in a similar way.
By the 60th minute it felt as though Scunthorpe were out of ideas, as every chance fell South Shields’ way – Adams in the 60th minute came centimetres away from doubling what was already an insurmountable lead.
He hit the inside of the post and Dewhurst could only watch as he waited to see whether the ball would fall in or out of the net. It bounced back and a grave danger for the Iron was averted.
Scunthorpe had no room to breathe, as South Shields continued their second-half onslaught: Conor Newton and Gary Liddle were next in line to have a go in the 63rd minute.
All South Shields could do as Scunthorpe regained their composure in the latter segment was to wait. The 1st Cloud Arena was as tense as anyone could imagine.
But a historic win was sealed, and South Shields delivered for the second time in three seasons another one of the FA Cup’s great upsets.
Kevin Phillips will find out who his Mariners will play in the first round on Monday 17 October, where a tie-up against one of the 48 EFL clubs to feature is not off the table.
South Shields: Boney, Newton, Broadbent, Liddle, Morse, Smith, Heaney, Woods, Mottley-Henry (Osei), Briggs (Ross) Adams.
Subs: Doherty, McGowan, Hunter, Gomes.
Scunthorpe United: Dewhurst, Ogle, Whitehouse (Daniel), Boyce, Beestin, Nuttall, Rowe (O’Malley), Lavery (Poulter), Wilson, Ntlhe, Gallimore.
Subs: Foster, Young, Taft, Sellars-Fleming.