The Hillmen fans are beginning to believe again after comprehensively winning their FA Vase Fifth Round replay at Dunston UTS, 3-1.
The bare goals don’t highlight their upper hand in play, particularly as they show that the home side led for nearly three quarters of the game.
GNE were made to play extra-time by their Gateshead-based hosts but they showed the quality to go through in the end.
Dunston had taken an early lead when a cross from the right was not dealt with and the ball dropped to Gary Ormston, who found the net from a couple of yards out.
Dunston had another close effort soon after when Bulford got the wrong side of Kelvin Lugsden, but his drive was well parried by Greg Hall.
However, from that moment the Hillmen gradually took control.
That control was in most areas of the pitch, apart from the opposition box which was being well marshalled.
The closest effort came from Bailey whose long-range snapshot caught the hosts’ goalkeeper napping and was pushed wide.
Carey also went close with a poked shot from a corner kick that went over the bar.
Dunston were relying on the long ball on the break, but by now the North End defence was dealing with them with relative comfort.
GNE looked to open the second half with pace, and Bailey and Eddie Moran briefly had a two-on-one that looked a good opening but Moran hesitated and the chance was gone.
Chris Willcock responded by making a double substitution, Bailey and Blackshaw making way for Ben Richardson and Danny White, and the change paid dividends.
In the 76th minute Matt Russell and Danny White played a one-two at the edge of the area which ended with Russell hitting a shot that went in via the post.
North End sensed they could win it from here, but despite pressure they couldn’t create a clear opening so for the second week running it was to be extra time.
It did not take long for the lead to be extended after the whistle though.
It was Dave Young who scored it, with a glorious strike 12 yards out - his 50th in club colours.
Five minutes later the tie was effectively sealed when Lugsden got behind his man and advanced on goal.
He delayed his shot as he headed towards to keeper, aware a tap from behind could mean a penalty and a red card.
However the defender backed off and Lugsden clipped the ball over Connell to net the third.
The second 15-minute period remained goalless as North End stayed strong defensively to ensure their last-eight berth.
They head to Barnsley-based Shaw Lane Aquaforce on Saturday for the quarter-final.