A young Pools Reserve side produced a plucky performance at Victoria Park to shock South Shields and make it through to the semi-finals of the Durham County Challenge Cup.
The visiting side started out as big favourites and looked odds on to progress when former Sunderland star Michael Richardson opened the scoring in the first half.
However, Shields were made to pay for a host of missed chances on a night when young Pools keeper Ryan Catterick was in inspired form, pulling off several crucial saves before Josh Hawkes snatched a leveller late on.
The tie went straight to penalties after ninety minutes and Catterick was once more the hero, brilliantly saving spot kicks from Dillon Morse and Jack Devlin to fire Pools in to the last four of the competition.
Craig Baxter caused an early moment of panic when he pinched the ball inside Pools territory and drove forward to shoot but his effort was parried by Ryan Catterick and Aksel Juul was flagged offside as he tucked in the rebound.
There was more good work from Catterick on 18 minutes when Louis Storey fed Jamie Holmes through on goal but the Pools keeper darted from his line to smother the ball at the winger’s feet.
Shields continued to look the more likely as the first half developed and they got their reward nine minutes before the break when Michael Richardson curled an exquisite finish beyond Catterick from the left corner of the penalty area to make it 1-0.
Richardson could even have doubled the visitors’ lead before half time when he found space inside the box to get on the end of substitute Liam Connell’s right-wing cross but he didn’t get enough power on his header and it was easily held by Catterick.
Catterick had to be alert again in first half injury time when Briggs raced on to a ball down the left of the box and hit a fierce drive across goal but the Pools keeper got down quickly to his left to make an excellent stop.
There was a great chance for Pools to hit back inside the first minute of the second half when Liam Pritchard got in to space on the right to deliver a low cross in to the area but Liam Travers couldn’t get over his shot and it flew too high.
Shields continued to look a menace going forward and came close to doubling their advantage when an almighty scramble inside the Pools penalty area saw some determined defending and goalkeeper keep them out.
Richardson should probably have scored a second for Shields when he raced away down the left but when he cut inside in to the area unchallenged he sent his shot across goal and wide.
It could have been a costly miss too because Pools immediately carved out a chance at the other end; Pritchard wriggled skilfully in to the area and found space to shoot but he didn’t get the venom needed on his effort and Briggs was able to get back on the line and clear the danger.
Catterick was keeping Pools’ hopes alive and was needed again on 83 minutes when Jack Devlin turned neatly on the left to lay the ball inside for Juul but the keeper got down to make a fine save.
He used his feet to block the next effort when the dangerous Richardson stormed through on goal and the missed opportunities came back to haunt the visitors with three minutes remaining.
Pools piled forward and got the ball in to the box where Josh Hawkes showed clever footwork to turn inside and slot a low finish across Woalston to level things up at 1-1.
Travers almost won it deep in injury time when he tried a lob from the halfway line but, with Woalston scurrying back to his line, the ball bounced just wide and the tie went to a penalty shootout.
Munns (Scored) 1-0
Storey (Scored) 1-1
Pritchard (Scored) 2-1
Morse (Saved) 2-1
Hawkes (Saved) 2-1
Briggs (Scored) 2-2
Bayne (Scored) 3-2
Richardson (Scored) 3-3
Owen (Scored) 4-3
Devlin (Saved) 4-3
Full Time: Pools Reserves 1 South Shields 1 (Pools win 4-3 on penalties)
Pools: Catterick, Holliday, Miller, Owen, Cooper (Weirs 72), Pritchard, Bayne, Hawkes, Orrell (Short 84), Munns, Travers.
Subs not used: Lawrence, Robinson, Boyle.
South Shields: Woalston, Baxter, Nicholson, Shaw (Lough 50), Morse, Storey, Richardson, Briggs, Armstrong (Connell 38), Juul, Holmes (Devlin 59).
Subs not used: Smith, Pattison.