Fans jubilant as South Shields FC move one step closer to Wembley
The Mariners won 2-1 at Coleshill Town in the first leg of the FA Vase semi-final on Saturday, to the delight of hundreds of travelling supporters.
Andrew Stephenson’s dramatic 90th minute goal completed a turnaround for the away side, after David Foley had equalised earlier in the second half.
They had fallen behind on the stroke of half-time, but showed great resolve to turn the match around after the break.
Shields are potentially now just one game away from a first-ever appearance at Wembley.
They will take on Coleshill again on Saturday, this time at Mariners Park, knowing that if they avoid defeat they will reach the final of the competition.
At least 300 supporters followed Shields to the Midlands on Saturday, with the club’s allocation of tickets having sold out in double-quick time.
In truth, there were many more Mariners fans in attendance, and they helped to create a terrific atmosphere at Pack Meadow as they made the ground a sea of claret and blue.
Match-winner Stephenson is hoping the team can help provide the supporters with a dream day out at Wembley in May.
He said: “It was a great feeling to score the winner and make sure we came back with an advantage.
“We know the job is far from done yet though and we need to produce a better performance on Saturday.
“We’d like to say a massive thanks to the fans, who were brilliant yet again.
“It’s amazing to play in front of them, and their support really helped us out in some difficult moments on Saturday.
“They’re the 12th man for us and we’re really looking forward to playing in front of another massive crowd this weekend.
“We’d love to reach the final for them.”
A record crowd of 3,161 watched Shields beat Newport Pagnell Town in the quarter-final of the competition last month.
That figure could be set to be surpassed on Saturday, with tickets selling quickly.
Limited tickets remain available from the club by calling 0191 454 7800 or visiting Mariners Park.