DURHAM City are without a point from two Ebac Northern League games but they have beaten two of their rivals in the FA Cup, writes MALCOLM PRATT.
Newcastle Benfield were their first victims and, in Saturday’s preliminary round tie at New Ferens Park, Dickie Ord’s men saw off Billingham Town 2-1.
Scott Fenwick had a couple of efforts ruled out for offside before he gave City a 14th-minute lead with a close-range tap-in.
Elliott Cutts doubled the advantage, beating goalkeeper Daniel Molyneux from 12 yards, then, on the stroke of half-time, the Teessiders missed a penalty and reduced the deficit, all within a minute.
Jamie Owens failed from the spot and almost immediately Craig Norman beat goalkeeper James Winter. There were chances for both teams in the second half, but City held on to clinch a home tie against Shildon or Guisborough.
Birtley Town led for 50 minutes against West Auckland but wilted in the final stages.
Dan Smart raised home hopes with his 20th-minute strike, but Birtley were unable to hold out and late efforts from John Campbell (2), Mattie Moffat and Chris Carr booked West’s place in the next round.
Bishop Auckland were the highest scorers of the day as they walloped Esh Winning 7-1, with Craig Coates replying to strikes from Kieran Megran (2), Sonny Andrews (2), Andy Johnson, Jamie Harwood and Arron Wearmouth.
Mark Davison was a third-minute scorer for Spennymoor, who were then held by West Allotment Celtic until well into the second half before Glen Taylor doubled the lead. Near the end, Andrew Stephenson made it 3-0.
Ashington romped home 4-1 at Marske United, with Marc Walton rifling a hat-trick. Andrew Johnson also netted.
Dunston UTS have struggled so far and went out 2-1 at Celtic Nation despite Andrew Bulford’s penalty. Ex-Hartlepool United striker Adam Boyd struck for the Cumbrians.
Tony Stephenson netted for Hebburn Town, who exited 3-1 to Ossett Albion, while Josh Allen bagged both goals as Jarrow Roofing lost 3-2 to visitors Farsley.
Bedlington Terriers, who strengthened their squad in the close season, impressively won 3-0 at Whitley Bay, courtesy of high-profile signing Paul Brayson (2) and captain Mark Convery.
Three ties will be replayed. South Shields have home advantage over Harrogate RA tomorrow night following a 1-1 draw, when Peter Kane netted for the Mariners.
Crook Town travel to Holker Old Boys tomorrow. Warren Byrne rifled a hat-trick and Craig Hughes also struck in a 4-4 home draw.
Shildon’s replay at Guisborough is on Wednesday. Adam Johnston (penalty) had his side in front for 83 minutes before Guisborough levelled deep into stoppage time.
First qualifying round draw includes: Durham City v Shildon or Guisborough, Spennymoor v Harrogate RA or South Shields, Ashington v West Auckland, Bedlington Terriers v Bishop Auckland, Tadcaster Albion v Crook Town or Holker Old Boys