THERE did not really deserve to be a loser from this game.

It seemed remarkable that these two sides – perennial promotion rivals – could not conjure a goal between them in a hectic, high-energy and dramatic 90 minutes.

Unfortunately, Warrington Town were on the wrong end of an even-more-dramatic penalty shoot-out which ended in unsavoury fashion.

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South Shields passed up two match points in the shoot-out before finally edging home 6-5, leaving Yellows out of the FA Cup and licking their wounds.

Matt Regan, Luke Duffy, James Baillie and Irywah Gooden were the unlucky quartet to fail from 12 yards as a brace of saves from Charlie Albinson proved in vain.

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The winning penalty squirms beneath Yellows keeper Charlie Albinson. Picture by John Hopkins

“The best players in the world miss penalties in shoot-outs, managed Paul Carden said.

”To be fair, nobody shied away from it. It was hard to pick a five when there was seven or eight saying they would take one.

“Anyone can miss one, keepers can become heroes in penalty shoot-outs but the fact they stepped up shows the belief they had in themselves more than anything.”

The ignominy of missing from 12 yards was harsh on Duffy in particular, who shone on what was his first start at this level having been picked up from Lower Breck in the summer.

His trickery and tenacity caused highly rated visiting right-back Jordan Hunter endless problems as he along with classy midfielder Scott Brown were Town’s stand-outs.

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Luke Duffy had an outstanding full debut. Picture by John Hopkins

“I have to say Luke Duffy was outstanding with his work rate and his tackling back,” Carden said.

“He grew in confidence and is one of those who has to take that belief in himself into the games coming up.

“I said when we signed him that he would cause anyone problems.

“South Shields’ right back is very well regarded and on his first start at this level, I thought Luke gave him a really tough time.”

With Duffy and Jack Mackreth stationed either side of Jordan Buckley, pace was going to be key against the Tynesiders’ antequated back three.

In the first half in particular, getting Buckley down the sides of the less mobile Shields defence seemed Town’s best route to goal.

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Clear-cut chances were at a premium in this high-paced chess match, but visiting goalkeeper Myles Boney was certainly the busier of the two custodians.

At the other end, South Shields probed in possession as is their style but a sharp Albinson save from Jason Gilchrist aside, the Warrington defence rarely looked troubled.

Mark Roberts and Matt Regan have now kept clean sheets against two highly fancied sides in their opening two matches while Michael Rose moved seamlessly from central midfield to left-back.

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“We worked hard as a unit which makes the defending easier,” Carden said.

“I thought it was a good game. It was probably as good a 0-0 as you’re going to see.

“It was end-to-end, attacking with good play from both sides.

“Their keeper probably had a little bit more to do than ours and their box saw a little bit more than ours, especially in the second half.

“It’s never nice to go out. I don’t want to dress it up as being happy that we’ve lost, but I can’t fault anyone because we’ve played well.

“We’ve just got to take the confidence out of it and take it into the games coming up.”

Initially at least, the spot kicks in the shoot-out were of high quality with one miss each – Albinson denied Gilchrist but from the very next spot kick, Boney kept out Regan.

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Then, the gravity of the situation seemed to get to both sides.

After Duffy had blazed his kick over the bar, Darius Osei did the same when scoring would have won the game.

Baillie also cleared the woodwork but Albinson came to his and Town’s rescue on this occasion as he saved from Callum Ross.

When Boney kept out Gooden, however, Hunter then squeezed the winning kick underneath Albinson’s dive.

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