South Shields turned in a five-star performance as they beat neighbours Hebburn Town in a seven-goal thriller last night.
In difficult conditions at Mariners Park, Martyn Coleman scored a brace on his Shields debut to help them into the quarter-finals of the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup.
Robert Briggs was also on target twice, while Mechack Kanda added the fifth as he scored his first goal for the club.
However, Shields – who were missing the suspended Julio Arca and Leepaul Scroggins – did not have it all their own way, with Hebburn producing a spirited performance.
The Hornets started the stronger of the two teams, and almost went ahead early on when Shields goalkeeper Gareth Young parried a cross from Scott Wallace, and the rebound from Marc Costello was excellently blocked.
On six minutes, Scott Oliver’s side did take the lead when a cross from the left by Lee McMahon caught out Young at his near post as it caught the wind.
It handed McMahon a goal against his former club, and just two minutes later, he almost added a second when Young kept out his effort.
Seconds earlier, Hebburn had hit the bar, with Shields having to weather a storm in the rainy conditions.
The longer the game went on, though, the more the hosts wrestled control, with Coleman particularly impressive on his debut following his arrival from Penrith.
A shot from the striker almost deceived visiting goalkeeper Phil Holgate, who pushed the ball out to Briggs, and his effort was blocked.
Coleman threatened again when he twisted and turned outside the box before firing wide, before Briggs dragged the Mariners level on 20 minutes.
Lewis Teasdale teed him up 25 yards out, and Briggs hammered the ball into the bottom corner, with the goalkeeper unmoved.
Both sides continued to create chances, with Daryll Hall heading a decent opportunity over, while at the other end, only a tremendous last-ditch tackle by Ibby Hassan prevented Glen Hargrave having a free run on goal.
A crowd of 477 was present at Mariners Park, despite the awful conditions, and they saw Briggs go close on the half-hour mark as Holgate pushed out his effort from the edge of the box.
Coleman also went close with a header as Holgate just prevented it crossing the line, while Michael Turner’s shot was blocked.
Four minutes before the break, Coleman got off the mark for his new club when a header forward from Hassan put him through on the inside-right channel, and he raced through on goal before firing low past Holgate.
On the stroke of half-time, Callum Smith volleyed over for Hebburn, and after the break, the conditions became ever more difficult in the mud.
Briggs almost put Shields 3-1 ahead when his corner from the left struck the bar, bounced up and then hit the woodwork again.
However, Hebburn were still in the game, and proved that by pulling back on level terms when Wallace pulled the ball back to Callum Smith six yards out and he fired home.
Shields showed good character by responding almost immediately.
Briggs teased in a low cross from the left which hit the post, and the ball came out to Coleman, who ruthlessly powered in the rebound.
The Mariners went about sealing their place in the last eight, but Teasdale saw a shot tremendously cleared off the line before Phillips headed wide.
As Shields pressed for a fourth, Coleman almost caught out the goalkeeper at the near post, and Holgate then brilliantly kept out a snap-shot from substitute David Foley with one hand.
Briggs virtually sealed the home win when Kanda created an opportunity for him from the right, and the midfielder then danced past a defender before hitting into the bottom corner.
Kanda got on the scoresheet himself eight minutes before the end. Coleman held the ball up superbly on the halfway line to start the Shields attack, and the ball eventually found its way to Kanda, who fired low into the opposite corner.
Towards the end, Coleman went close to claiming his hat-trick, but the ball caught up in the mud as he looked set to run through on goal, while his cross-shot from the right was well kept out by Holgate.
Shields will travel to Billingham Synthonia in the next round, while tomorrow, they are due to host North Shields in the League Cup.
Hebburn, meanwhile, host Darlington RA on Saturday.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Young, Carson, Turner, Hall (c), Hassan, Smith, Sakr (Foley 55), Briggs, Coleman, Teasdale (Riding 69), Phillips (Kanda 75). Subs not used: Pocklington, Ramsey.
Goals: Briggs (20, 79), Coleman (41, 65), Kanda (82).
HEBBURN: Holgate, Malley, Wallace, Pegram, Christopher Smith (c), Summers, Callum Smith, Costello, McMahon, Hargrave, Feasey.
SubsHubery, Downey, North, Talbot.