Spennymoor too strong for Neil Hixon’s men

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TWO goals in as many minutes midway through the second half ended Sunderland RCA’s interest in the Durham Challenge Cup at Meadow Park last night, writes MALCOLM PRATT.

Neil Hixon’s men matched visitors Spennymoor all the way, but, in the 72nd minute, Mark Davison headed a corner into his own net.

Almost immediately, RCA were faced with a formidable challenge. Moors were awarded a free-kick outside the penalty area and ex-RCA midfielder Keith Graydon’s kick flew into the top corner, giving goalkeeper Craig Shields no chance.

Late on, RCA went close when an effort from Lee Owens was cleared off the line, but Jason Ainsley’s Moors comfortably held on to their two-goal lead.

Seaham Red Star crashed out to Esh Winning in an all-Second Division tie.

They held their own until the 35th minute when Stuart Thompson broke the deadlock, curling the ball home from the edge of the box.

Esh doubled their advantage five minutes later with Chris Smith’s close-range drive before two goals in three minutes, early in the second half, had the visitors well in control.

Craig Coates produced a superb finish from 25 yards before Mark Moon was unfortunate to deflect the ball into his own net.

Seaham’s woes continued as Esh made it 5-0 as Smith headed in his second goal of the night.

Billingham Town produced a shock 1-0 win over high-flying Dunston UTS, Glen Butterworth’s 15th-minute goal proving decisive.

Town almost made it two when Michael Arthur’s speculative 45-yarder shaved the outside of a post, with visiting goalkeeper Jonathan Carmichael well beaten.

West Auckland also suffered a surprise defeat at home to Consett, 3-2 after extra time.

Harrison Davies gave the Steelmen a sound platform, netting twice in the opening half-hour, but West battled back to level through Ross Preston and Stephen Brown (penalty).

In extra time, Davies completed his hat-trick with a 106th-minute winner.