After a morning of torrential rain the clouds parted just in time for kick-off in a feisty Halloween FA Vase contest between Bridlington Town and North Shields.
The visitors had full control of the game in the opening twenty minutes and Town looked to shake off the two weeks they had without a game before this match. Shields’ Dan Wilson looked dominant going forward and would provide his team with a deserved lead just 24 minutes in.
A simple cross into the box which was blocked only went as far as Craig Spooner, who managed to feed Wilson six yards out, who made no mistake on the turn, sending just past the outstretched arms of Town keeper James Hitchcock.
With the visitors in the lead and looking comfortable Town tried to absorb all the pressure and find any opening they could. These openings would be few and far between, but at the dying moments of the first half the visitors let their guard down.
Danny Earl held two Shields players back well, causing the Shields defender to prod the ball behind for a corner. Will Annan’s floating cross was met high by Fraser Papprill whose header fell perfectly into the top centre of the goal, giving Town what many would consider an undeserved equaliser.
With the start of the second half Town looked much more involved in the game, and for large periods perhaps better than their opposition.
Shield’s calls for a free kick were, on something of a rare occasion, waved off by the referee and the ball fell back to the Town defence. Leon Dawson made a run down the left of the pitch, passing the ball to Billy Logan on the edge of the box, who turned and fed the ball straight to Danny Earl who outsmarted the Shields keeper and slotting the ball into his favourite left corner of the goal, giving Town a lead that looked like it had been coming.
Town returned to soaking up the pressure for the remaining thirty minutes of the game, but were made to pay in the final minutes of the game. Substitute David Robinson escaped his marker and handed the ball to Dan Wilson who was heavily marked at the edge of the box, but he somehow managed to prod the ball back to the feet of Robinson who unleashed a fantastic shot past Hitchcock.
With neither team looking likely to score in the final minutes the Penalties lottery was inevitable. Both teams scored the first four of their penalties, but Billy Logan was unable to best Greg Purvis, and North Shields progressed into the next round of the Vase. Town should not look too down on this result as both teams, over the course of the game, were equally matched, and losing to penalties is certainly not a shameful way to lose.
Bridlington line up: James Hitchcock, Benn Lewis, Leon Dawson, Andy Norfolk (c) , Jack Bulless, Fraser Papprill, Tom Waudby, Will Annan, Billy Logan, Joe McFadyen, Danny Earl.
Subs: Ellis Barkworth, Lewis Taylor, Chris Adams
Final score 2-2, North Shields won 5-4 on penalties