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Under-18s reach FA Youth Cup second round

South Shields Under-18s qualified for the second round of the FA Youth Cup with a 3-2 win at Lancaster City on Thursday.

First half goals from Sam Watts, Matty Telfer and Lewis Henry proved to be enough for the Mariners, who were also aided by a superb goalkeeping performance from Olly Walker.

The result earned Shields a place in the second round of the national competition for the third time in six seasons, and they now await the draw to discover their opponents.

The young Mariners applied some early pressure, and were denied a certain goal by a tremendous goalkeeping save by Cole Stephenson within the first seven minutes.

That preceded an even better stop from Walker on the quarter-hour mark to keep the scores level.

Shields took the lead in the 17th minute when Watts found some space and saw off the challenge of the onrushing Stephenson before slotting home.

Stephenson denied Dan Savage a quickfire second but could do nothing to prevent the second goal shortly before the half-hour as Telfer dispatched a penalty.

Lancaster halved the deficit almost immediately, only for Shields to instantly respond as Savage found Henry, who finished smartly from inside the area to make it 3-1.

The young Mariners expected a response from their hosts after half-time, and got just that.

Walker made a brilliant one-on-one save, while several other opportunities came and went for Lancaster.

The home side pulled one back with 11 minutes remaining from a free-kick, which provoked something of a grandstand finish as they attempted to find an equaliser.

There were two tremendous saves from Walker in the closing stages to keep Shields ahead, and the final whistle sparked scenes of celebrations among the Mariners players.

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