South Shields 1 Hartlepool United 2: Brave Mariners' FA Cup dream dies

Julio Arca
Julio Arca

South Shields' FA Cup dream ended in heartache as Hartlepool United came from behind to win 2-1 at a raucous Mariners Park.

The National League side proved just too strong for Shields, who couldn't add Pools to the scalps of York City and Darlington.

Another upset had looked to be on the cards as Shields led the fourth qualifying round clash 1-0 at the interval thanks to a Carl Finnigan strike, and could have been further ahead.

But Pools came storming back after the break, and two goals inside four minutes from Devante Rodney and Nicky Deverdics rocked the majority of the near 300-strong crowd packed into Mariners Park.

Pools had started brightly, dominating the opening 20 minutes but only had a Jack Munns chance to show for their efforts.

The rest of the first half was all Shields. They took the lead on 28 minutes when Finnigan held off Scott Harrison before swivelling and firing home left-footed.

Matty Pattison was pulling the strings for the home side and went close from distance, before Pools keeper Scott Loach denied him with a stunning close-range save.

On the stroke of half time Shields almost went 2-0 up when Pattison's right-footed effort came back off the bar, before Finnigan blasted over.

The Mariners were made to pay for those misses as Pools came out strongly in the second half.

On 54 minutes, they were level although there was a slice of fortune about the ball. Julio Arca and Craig Baxter got in a muddle, the ball broke to Rodney and he showed great composure to slide the ball home.

Four minutes later, Deverdics stepped up to slam home a stunning free-kick that Norton got fingertips to but couldn't keep out.

Shields pressed for an equaliser and Finnigan - teed up superbly by Cogdon - was denied by Loach.

But after 25 wins in a row in cup competitions, the dream died for Shields as they failed to reach the first round proper for the first time since reforming in 1974.