South Shields tasted defeat for the second time this season as they were beaten 3-1 by Warrington Town in the Isuzu FA Trophy on Saturday.
The Mariners started brightly but found themselves two goals behind after the hosts scored a quickfire double just after the half-hour mark.
Lewis Alessandra pulled one back after a well-worked move by Shields, but Warrington sealed their passage into the second round with a third goal in the second half.
This was Shields’ final outing before their Emirates FA Cup first round tie against Forest Green Rovers next Saturday, and manager Kevin Phillips gave a first senior start to teenage defender Alfie Marriott.
Marriott was one of eight changes to the starting line-up from the Mariners’ game against Warrington Rylands a week earlier, and they began well at Cantilever Park.
The away side kept possession effectively as they probed for a breakthrough, which almost arrived when Josh Doherty powered just over from the edge of the box.
Warrington grew into the game as the first half progressed and their first opportunity saw Connor Woods fire a shot which took a deflection and went just past the post.
Dillon Morse cleared off the line from James Harris and Myles Boney did well to deny Matthew McDonald with his feet before the hosts took the lead on 31 minutes.
A free-kick was clipped into the area from deep on the left and Tom Hannigan steered it home with a controlled finish after the ball was flicked on.
The Yellows were boosted after finding the breakthrough and a period of pressure led to a second goal six minutes later, with Woods volleying past Boney from close range after a cross from the left by McDonald.
Shields halved the deficit a minute before half-time with a terrific goal.
Callum Ross sprayed the ball to the right, where Jordan Hunter was able to find a crossing position and deliver for Alessandra, who turned and blasted the ball into the roof of the net.
There were positives to take into the half-time break for the Mariners, but they were unable to impose themselves as strongly in the second half.
Harris hit a firm shot wide from 20 yards before Warrington restored their two-goal advantage in the 58th minute, with Woods producing another composed finish to double his tally after being found by Eddie Clarke.
Shields quickly had an opportunity to pull a goal back, but Joao Gomes was denied at point-blank range by home goalkeeper Tony Thompson.
They thought they had scored with seven minutes left, but Tom Broadbent’s header was controversially ruled out for a foul, while at the other end, substitute Isaac Buckley-Ricketts hit the post.
Warrington saw out the remaining minutes to seal their place in round two, and now the Mariners’ attentions turn to another certain cup competition.
South Shields: Boney, Hunter, Broadbent, Marriott Morse, Ross, McGowan, Briggs (c), Alessandra, Gomes, Doherty. Subs not used: Adams, Smith, Woods, Heaney.
Goal: Alessandra (44).
Image: Kev Wilson.