Ashington v North Shields in the FA Cup

The first time the sides met was way back in the 1906-07 season in the first qualifying round of the cup. After a 2-2 draw at Ashington the sides met at what was then known as the Old Cycling Grounds, Hawkey’s Lane and this time Shields won by the odd goal in three.

In the wake of World War II on Saturday 16th November 1946, an estimated 2,000 Ashington fans made the short journey to Appleby Park by specially arranged trains and were part of a 7,600 strong crowd. The game was drawn 1-1 with the Colliers taking a 1-0 lead into half time after Homer headed a Farrington cross home with “the speed of a bullet”. Conway got an equaliser for Shields in the 57th minute and was the best goal the journalist had ever seen setting up a replay at Portland Park.

That game played at 2.15pm on a Monday afternoon was watched by 4,000 and also ended 1-1 with goals from Fenwick (Ashington) and Fergusson (Shields). There was some controversy at the end of the game as the referee abandoned it due to failing light and poor conditions in extra time. The Colliers claimed, as it had said it should be finished that day, the replay should again be at Portland Park, Shields argued for a neutral venue. In the end the replay took place at St James Park in Newcastle. Poxton opened the scoring for the Colliers but the Robins ran out 3-1 victors with a hat trick from Tommy McGarry that sent them to Hartlepool in Round 1.

In the 1954-55 season the Colliers disposed of both Newburn and Heaton Stannington by six goals to one at Portland Park before drawing the Robbns. Ashington started the game in lively fashion with right winger Dowson causing Shields trouble. At 0-0 the Colliers full back Laws cleared two off the line with keeper Myers beaten. The Colliers broke the deadlock with an unexpected goal when Allen sent a fierce rising drive into the net. Turnbull made it two heading a  Dowson cross past the Shields keeper. The game ended 2-0 and the Colliers went on to defeat West Sleekburn Welfare 2-1 at Portland Park before losing at home to Scarborough 3-2.

North Shields got revenge the following season winning 3-1 at Appleby Park in the 2nd Qualifying Round. Goals from Corrall (2) and Charlton made it 3-0 before Ashington got a late consolation through Turnbull. Shields again drew the Colliers at Appleby Park in the 1956-57 season and again ran out winners this time 1-0.

In 1957-58 the sides were again matched and after a 0-0 draw at Appleby Park the sides fought out a replay in Ashington. A crowd of 3,750 were present on a Wednesday afternoon in October to see Glendinning put Shields ahead after 7 minutes. Bobby Cummings drew the Colliers level on 51 minutes putting a half volley under the bar. On 65 minutes Crosbie gave the Colliers the lead and a third was added late on as Shields chased an equaliser.

After four consecutive seasons had seen the sides drawn together there was a nine year break before their next cup encounter. In the 1966-67 after a 2-2 draw at PP the Colliers traveled to the Coast for the replay. Shields opened the scoring on 10 minutes through Thompson but Linnigan had the Colliers level 20. Sproates put the Colliers ahead on 53 minutes before Thompson leveled with his second of the game. An own goal from Oakley had the Colliers back in the lead before Carr wrapped it up on 87 minutes when he slammed home.

The next tussle between the sides came in the 1979-80 season as they were drawn together at Appleby Park. North Shields under the watchful eye of John Tudor went ahead in the eighth minute through Lilley. They doubled their lead just before half time after an excellent three man move involving Rafferty, Lilley and Barker with the latter hitting a low shot past Jobey. The Colliers grabbed what would be a consolation in the 84th minute through Brian Pringle.

The next and last time the sides met in the FA Cup was in the 2004-05 Season when North Shields had just been promoted to the Northern League second division and the Colliers the first. Ashington won the tie 1-0 with a goal from Mark Campell.