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Match Report: FC United 2-1 South Shields

South Shields’ unbeaten start to the season came to an end in agonising circumstances after two late goals saw FC United come from behind to win at Broadhurst Park on Tuesday.

A commanding first half performance saw the Mariners go in at half-time with a deserved lead, with Dylan Mottley-Henry continuing his fine form in front of goal to put his side ahead.

The home team responded well after half-time but Shields looked set to see things out until Regan Linney hit an 88th minute equaliser and Michael Donohue chipped in the winner a minute into stoppage time for the Reds.

Shields were looking to climb to the top of the Pitching In Northern Premier League with a victory and they started well, with Robert Briggs heading over and later having an audicious chip saved by home goalkeeper Wyll Stanway as the visitors looked for an early breakthrough.

There were further opportunities as Michael Woods crashed an effort against the crossbar and Mottley-Henry was played in by a superb Martin Smith through ball before directing his shot wide.

The Mariners went ahead on 25 minutes when Mottley-Henry – who scored a hat-trick in the Emirates FA Cup win over Marske United three days earlier – smashed home from close range after a Gary Liddle header had come back off the woodwork.

The away side sensed an opportunity to put daylight between themselves and their opponents but they were unable to find a way past Stanway for a second time.

The goalkeeper produced a fine tackle to deny Blair Adams a clean strike on goal before he was beaten by Mackenzie Heaney after a slick team move, only for his strike to fly just past the post.

Shields will have been frustrated not to be further ahead at the break, and FC United started the second half in significantly more promising fashion as they launched a response.

Callum Gribbin flashed a ball across the face of goal which had just too much on it and Charlie Ennis’ low strike was excellently blocked by Smith as the hosts searched for an equaliser.

Mottley-Henry, though, almost extended the Mariners’ advantage when he was found by Lewis Alessandra and dug out a shot which struck the base of the post.

The Reds improved as the second half went on, but Shields looked likely to see things out and claim maximum points until Linney controlled a ball over the top, shifted it onto his left foot and curled brilliantly into the top corner to level the scores with two minutes left.

The turnaround was complete for the home side a minute into stoppage time as Donohue pounced on a loose ball and chipped into the net from 20 yards to spark an explosion of noise from the FC support.

Shields are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Stalybridge Celtic in the Isuzu FA Trophy.

South Shields: Boney, Newton, Adams (c), Liddle, Morse, Smith, Mottley-Henry (Osei 77), Woods, Alessandra (Hodgson 87), Briggs (Broadbent 64), Heaney. Subs not used: McGowan, Hunter.

Goal: Mottley-Henry (25).

Attendance: 1,295.

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