Durham City’s agony in extra-time

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DURHAM City took FC United of Manchester to extra time before exiting the FA Trophy at the third qualifying round stage in last night’s replay at Gigg Lane, Bury, writes Malcolm Pratt.

United made most of the running in the early stages, but it was Durham who created the first clear-cut scoring opportunity.

A corner by Stephen Thompson was headed by Gary Brown into the path of David Dowson, whose overhead kick produced an equally spectacular save from goalkeeper James Spencer.

Soon afterwards Elliott Cutts cleared the home crossbar, but United hit back and only a brilliant clearance by Arjun Purewal kept the scores level.

Ben Deegan went close with a tremendous header which just cleared Durham’s goal before the hosts broke the deadlock after half an hour.

A pin-point cross from the left by Lee Neville was headed past James Winter at the far post.

Jake Cotterill and Neville had reasonable chances to increase their side’s lead and only a magnificent save by Winter, who turned a Deegan close-range effort over the goal, kept City in the game.

But City were back in the tie within two minutes of the interval when Amar Purewal robbed the full-back and rounded Spencer before finding the net.

Dickie Ord’s side had a chance to go in front, but Amar Purewal’s effort was saved by Spencer and when Thompson produced another great through ball, David Dowson was unable to capitalise.

Winter kept out efforts from Cotterill and Roca and at the other end, City went close to winning in normal time when only a finger-tip save by Spencer kept out a Thompson free kick.

In extra time though, the visitors conceded twice.

First, James Holden headed past Winter, who then saved a penalty from Mike Norton before being beaten in the very last minute by Astley Mulholland as Durham pushed everyone forward in a desperate search for an equaliser.

Durham City: J Winter, Ayre, Madden, Davis, Stephenson, Arjun Purewal, Cutts (Greulich-Smith), Brown, Dowson, Thompson (E Graham), Amar Purewal (Pounder).

Ref: J Hunt. Att: 672