SUNDERLAND RCA and Bishop Auckland met for the fourth time this season and for the third occasion, the Wearsiders came out on top, writes Malcolm Pratt.
Once again, though, it was a close call and Neil Hixon’s side needed extra time before reaching the Third Round of the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup.
The Wearsiders made a dream start, with James Oates and Brian Close on target inside the opening 12 minutes.
The two-goal cushion remained intact until the 70th minute, when Andrew Johnson threw Bishops a lifeline
And three minutes from the end of normal time Stephen Turnbull equalised.
Close then restored the advantage to RCA and when Andy Jennings also found the net, it looked as if the home side would win comfortably.
Johnson struck his second of the night, though and Hixon’s men had to survive some anxious final minutes before securing a 4-3 victory.
Chester-le-Street twice equalised courtesy of Brett Gillatt and Michael Coghlan before going out 3-2 at Alnwick Town, whose marksmen were Tom Vickers, with a brace, and Ross McKenley.
Horden CW put up a brave show, but were well beaten by West Auckland at Welfare Park.
Michael Rae rifled a hat-trick, with Paul Garthwaite and Stephen Brown also on target for the First Division leaders.
A late goal by Michael Jameson proved enough for Billingham Synthonia at Whickham, while Dunston UTS hit Whitehaven for six in Cumbria.
Stephen Shaw, Lee McAndrew, Andrew Bulford, Anthony Hume, Michael Dixon and Danny Craggs all netted, with Scott Pears claiming a consolation for the home side.
Nathan Mulligan and James Magowan both bagged braces, leading Norton to victory in the local derby at Billingham Town, whose only reply came from Jamie Owens.
Gillford Park progressed at Marske United courtesy of David Wallace and Craig Wilson. Ben Thompson scored for the Seasiders.
Sunderland RCA not only celebrated a Cup win but also Whitley Bay’s unexpected 3-2 defeat at South Shields in the STL Northern League First Division.
Victory for the Seahorses would have put them four points ahead of RCA, but Andy Jennings, Shaun Sweeney and Johnny Wightman earned the points for the Mariners. Brian Smith and Paul Chow (pen) replied.