Spennymoor too strong for Sunderland RCA in semi-final clash

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SUNDERLAND RCA were unable to prevent Spennymoor Town’s march towards a double when Jason Ainsley’s side ended 3-1 winners of last night’s Brooks Mileson Memorial Cup semi-final at Meadow Park.

Moors went ahead on 23 minutes when a long ball into the box wasn’t dealt with by home defenders and Stephen Richardson fired into the bottom corner.

RCA battled back and were rewarded with an equaliser in the 75th minute. Adam McGuinness found Joe Walton and when his initial shot struck goalkeeper Samuel Grieveson, he drove the rebound home.

Neil Hixon’s side sensed they were in with a chance of causing an upset but were caught on the counter-attack by Richardson who gave goalkeeper Gary Hoggeth no chance with a tremendous 25-yard effort.

RCA pushed players forward desperately searching for an equaliser but left the way open for Craig Hubbard to head past Hoggeth deep into stoppage time.

Spennymoor will play either Newcastle Benfield or Shildon in the final.

H Bishop Auckland were involved in their first goalless draw for eight years in last night’s First Division game against Dunston UTS at Heritage Park.

In Division Two, Team Northumbria lost ground in the promotion race when they went down away to Whickham last night.

Graeme Cairns gave them the lead in the first minute and when Whickham had Reece Davison sent off after an hour, the visitors were coasting.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, however, Whickham drew level through Tony Thirkell and nine minutes from time clinched victory with a twice-taken penalty by Graeme King.

H In Division One tonight, only three games are scheduled to take place but the outcome of two could have a bearing on the destination of the championship.

It’s an almost must-win situation for both Newcastle Benfield and Whitley Bay who, along with Consett, are the only sides in a position to pip leaders Spennymoor at the post.

Third-top Benfield are nine points off the top with a game in hand ahead of their visit to relegated Esh Winning.

Whitley Bay’s 18-match winning sequence was ended by Ashington on Saturday but manager Ian Chandler, who lives in Whitburn, has not given up hope of finishing in pole position before tonight’s clash with Tow Law.

He said: “We are 12 points behind Spennymoor, who have played two games more than us,” he said.

“We probably need to win our last eight matches and who’s to say we can’t do so after racking up 18 consecutive victories?”

The Seahorses’ aim is the title but if they miss out on their first target then second top would still enable them to qualify for promotion to the Evo Stik League Division One North.