Connor Wickham stars as Forest Green beat Kevin Phillips’ South Shields

Kevin Phillips’ South Shields were unable to pull off an FA Cup upset as a Connor Wickham brace saw the seventh-tier outfit beaten 2-0 by League One Forest Green in their first-round tie at the 1st Cloud Arena.

Wickham, like Phillips a former Sunderland forward, put Ian Burchnall’s side in front with a 28th-minute effort from close range as he connected with a fine Corey O’Keeffe cross.

South Shields’ push for an equaliser after the break included headers from Michael Woods and Dillon Morse going wide and being saved by Lewis Thomas.

South Shields manager Kevin Phillips (Will Matthews/PA).
South Shields manager Kevin Phillips (Will Matthews/PA)

There was also a Blair Adams drive into the side-netting and Mackenzie Heaney’s free-kick and Tom Broadbent’s shot going wide late on.

Wickham then wrapped things up for Rovers with a sublime goal in stoppage time, lobbing goalkeeper Myles Boney from just beyond the halfway line.