FOLLOWING successive defeats which ended their interest in the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup and the coveted FA Carlsberg Vase, Spennymoor Town bounced back in last night’s Durham Challenge Cup tie against neighbours West Auckland Town.
It was a close call though and the outcome was decided by an only goal scored after just six minutes.
Danny Taylor crossed from the left and Sonny Andrews produced a clinical finish from 15 yards which gave West goalkeeper Jordan Nixon no chance.
A crowd of 326 endured a scrappy game during which few goal-scoring chances were created. Spennymoor will meet either Shildon or Consett, who play tonight, in the final.
Celtic Nation extended their lead over Shildon at the top of the Ebac Northern League First Division to six points with victory over fourth-placed Ashington in Carlisle.
It wasn’t until the 54th minute that the deadlock was broken as Colin McMenamin drove home from 20 yards and in the 70th minute the Colliers faced a formidable challenge after Michael Rae curled in a great effort from outside the penalty area.
Jarrow Roofing are now only five points behind table-topping North Shields in Division Two.
They maintained their impressive form, defeating improving Thornaby 2-1 at Boldon.
Andy Appleby sprung the offside trap from a pass by Paul Gardner and his back-pass was coolly finished by Liam McBryde.
Just before the interval, Roofing went two up as Steve Graham played a sublime 30-yard ball to McBryde and he made no mistake firing past Thornaby goalkeeper Michael Duff.
Richie McLoughlin’s side slowed the pace in the second period and allowed Thornaby back into the game when, in the 70th minute, Richard Walker’s free kick evaded everybody and dropped into the net at the back post.
Jarrow Roofing’s result was not good for Seaham Red Star, who are also challenging for one of the three promotion places, but Heaton Stannington’s failure to win at Tow Law Town was a bonus.
A well-taken goal by Dan Wilson, who completed a flowing movement, had the Lawyers ahead after 19 minutes but 10 minutes later regular marksman Jonathan Wright levelled with a spectacular long-range effort.
Tow Law suffered a double blow on 70 minutes. The Stann were awarded a controversial penalty and home goalkeeper Stephen Robinson was sent off for protesting.
Striker Dean Thexton took over and his first task was to pick the ball out of the net from Wright’s spot-kick.
At this stage, a win for the Tynesiders looked the likely outcome but 10-man Tow Law battled back and two minutes from time substitute Anthony Lee restored parity with a tremendous right-foot drive from 20 yards.
At the other end of the table, Ryton and Crawcrook Albion are now just a point behind second-bottom Esh Winning with two games in hand.
After winning for only the fifth time at the weekend, they produced another good performance holding Darlington RA to a draw at Brinkburn Road.
It was RA though who scored first when Steve Allison netted in the first minute but Tom Phillips quickly equalised and by the interval David Backhouse had Ryton in front.
RA’s recent signing from Willington, Adam Sakr celebrated by scoring a 79th-minute equaliser with a good 12-yard strike.
There was a shock for FA Carlsberg Vase quarter finalists Dunston UTS who were beaten by Whitehaven in the quarter-final of the Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup.
The Cumbrians, fourth from bottom in Division Two, were very much the under-dogs but after Greg Quayle fired them into a 24th-minute lead, they received a double boost after an hour.
Quayle was brought down by Michael Dixon, who was sent off and Max Tymon scored the resultant penalty.
A minute later it was all over for UTS as Darren Donald made it three and it was only in the last minute that Andrew Bulford, a hat-trick hero in Dunston’s Vase victory at the weekend, claimed a consolation goal.
Marske United went through with a comfortable victory over West Allotment Celtic, courtesy of second-half goals by Scott Mathewman and Josh McDonald.