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Under-18s ready for Gateshead test in FA Youth Cup

South Shields take on Gateshead in the second qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup at 1st Cloud Arena on Wednesday.

The match is a 7pm kick-off, with the young Mariners looking to progress further in the competition having beaten Whitley Bay and Billingham Town to reach this stage.

Admission prices are £3 for adults and £1 for concessions and under-16s and support would be greatly appreciated.

Shields warmed up for the test by opening their National League Under-19 Alliance campaign with a confident 6-1 win over Farsley Celtic on Friday.

They got off to a blistering start and opened the scoring in less than a minute, with Alex Thompson heading home from close range after the goalkeeper made an initial reflex save.

The hosts began to dominate possession with some good play from Oliver Cresdee in the centre of the park leading to an ultimately squandered chance on seven minutes.

The West Yorkshire side equalised on 19 minutes as Williams used his pace to get through the Shields defence and slotted the ball low past Seymour in the Shields net.

Just six minutes later, Thompson scored his brace with a second header as he rose highest to meet an inswinging corner and give the Mariners the lead.

A very end-to-end period of play followed, with chances for both sides and both goalkeepers tested well, making good saves.

After waiting patiently with their build-up, Shields added a third just before the break as James McGeorge somehow found himself alone in between the Farsley defence and struck the ball high past the goalkeeper to give the hosts a two-goal cushion at the interval.

The second period of play started with a chance for the opposition as they looked to get one back, but they were ultimately stopped by the strong Mariners backline.

On 52 minutes the hosts added a fourth as a brilliant switch of play to the left flank had half-time substitute George McArthur staring down the face of goal to slot low past the Celtic keeper into the far corner.

A quieter period of play followed, with the odd half chance appearing for both sides but overall it was very even, with Shields being ever so slightly on top.

A rampant last 10 minutes from the Mariners saw McArthur complete his hat-trick, the second coming from a bouncing ball in the box falling to him to put it into the empty net. The third was a great low finish from the left side of the box to the right of the goalkeeper, following one of many Shields attacks in the closing minutes.

It could have been many more for the Mariners as the Farsley goalkeeper used his fingertips well to stop two long range strikes from Shields substitute James Thew.

The full-time whistle was blowm before Shields could add a seventh, having battered the opposition penalty area for the final 10 minutes of the game. A 6-1 victory put the young Mariners top of the league after the opening day.

Head of professional development Jon Shaw said: “It was a really pleasing start to the season.

“It was the first minutes we had been able to get for the Under-19s, whereas the Under-18s had played in the Youth Cup already, so to get them on the pitch, see them perform how they did and come away deserved winners was great.

“The scoreline isn’t the be all and end all for us, the performance is.

“Against Blyth next week we’ll look for the same things.

“We don’t know the standard of everyone we play against, but there’ll be some tough teams no doubt.

“The end goal of the season is to get these boys playing well and noticed by the first-team management.”

After their Youth Cup assignment, the young Mariners will return to Alliance action against Blyth Spartans’ Under-19s at Washington Hub on Friday.

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