‘Commiserations’ and pride as South Shields FC dumped out of the FA Cup First Round by Forest Green and ex-SAFC striker Connor Wickham

A brace from ex-Sunderland player Connor Wickham saw South Shields FC eliminated from the FA Cup in the first round proper.

Unfortunately, a fairytale trip to the second round was not to be, after the former Black Cat put the tie to bed in the closing minutes with a stunning shot from the halfway line. But the efforts of the home side did not go unrewarded, with praise for their effort and industry on the pitch.

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The Mayor of South Tyneside, Cllr Pat Hay said on Saturday: “The Mayoress and I would like to offer our commiserations to South Shields FC after an unfortunate defeat against Forest Green Rovers. Being in the spotlight of the FA Cup is huge for the club. The team should be extremely proud of how far they have come. We wish the team and all the supporters the best of luck in the future.”

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck said: “Well done South Shields - you gave it everything and did us proud.” Meanwhile, Jarrow MP Kate Osborne added: “Well done today South Shields FC. Pleased to be among the record attendance at the 1st Cloud Arena. Great effort and atmosphere.”

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The visitors from Sky Bet League One dominated the early exchanges, breaking the deadlock in the 28th minute with a Wickham header from six yards out.

Fellow former Black Cat Kevin Phillips sent out a re-energised team after the half-time break.

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South Shields' Lewis Alessandra (left) and Forest Green Rovers' Armani Little battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup first round match. Picture: PA.

But missed opportunities cost the hosts, as the Forest Green striker doubled his match goal tally to send his side through in the closing minutes.

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Posting on Twitter after the full-time whistle, a club statement from South Shields FC said: Our Emirates FA Cup journey is over for another year - and what an effort it was as the Mariners attempted to bridge a four-division gap today. Thank you to everyone who attended for the magnificent support. Congrats and good luck to Forest Green Rovers for the rest of the season.”

They later added: “Proud of our players. Proud of our fans. Proud of our club. Onto Tuesday.”

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The Mariners will host Hyde United at the 1st Cloud Arena on Tuesday, November 8; kick-off at 7.45pm.