SUNDERLAND RCA went out of the Durham Challenge Cup despite enjoying a half-time lead in last night’s Second Round tie against Bishop Auckland at Meadow Park, writes Malcolm Pratt.
Neil Hixon’s side were awarded a 31st-minute penalty when Aristote Guerin Lakonga was dragged down and Jamie Clarke converted the penalty.
RCA held the advantage until five minutes into the second period when good work by Andrew Johnson left Dale Jardine with a simple tap-in.
Five minutes later Chris Bell crossed and Johnson flicked in a header, and in the 65th minute Johnson fired home a penalty awarded for a foul on Ryan Cummings.
In the Ebac Northern League First Division Billingham Town gained a point as they fight to stave off relegation.
Andy Bulford converted a penalty for Dunston UTS, awarded after he had been up-ended.
Billingham quickly retaliated with an equaliser from Danny Brunskill.
Dunston dominated the second period, but were unable to make a further breakthrough. Just before the end Billingham almost snatched victory, but Nicky Martin hit the woodwork.
In Division Two, Thornaby won the crucial bottom six battle with Stokesley SC as the goals flowed from Chris Burton (2), Rocky Andrews, Rob Pearson and Gary Mitchell (pen). Chris Bivens and Philip King replied for Stokesley.
Jarrow Roofing progressed in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out against Tow Law Town after the sides had shared eight goals following extra time.
Peter Kane and Liam McBryde had Roofing two goals up, but the Lawyers then scored three times in seven minutes courtesy of Lewis Wing, Dan Wilson and Adam Strong.
With only three minutes of normal time remaining McBryde took the tie into extra time. Andrew Appleby made it 4-3 for Jarrow only for Wilson to equalise taking the game into penalties.
H Washington, comfortably placed mid-table in the Ebac Northern League Second Division, face a difficult task tonight against North Shields at the Daren Persson Stadium.
Esh Winning, who have had their points talley reduced by six points because of an infringement in the game against West Allotment Celtic, are now third bottom when the sides again meet at Waterhouses. Celtic requested a re-match after Esh won the first game while the Durham side also suffered a three points penalty.
In Divsion One, Darlington 1883, with a nine points lead over Spennymoor Town, host Hebburn Town at Heritage Park while third-placed West Auckland Town are at relegation threatened Newcastle Benfield.
Basement side South Shields, who have lost their last 10 games, are desperate for points at Newton Aycliffe as are Norton and Stockton Ancients when Consett visit Teesside.