Sunderland RCA’s FA Carlsberg Vase dream dies in first round

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SUNDERLAND RCA’s Wembley dreams were shattered when they were surprisingly well beaten by Bedlington Terriers in the first round of the FA Carlsberg Vase.

The Wearsiders, 14 places and 17 points ahead of Terriers in the STL Northern League, were favourites, but conceding two goals in the opening 21 minutes proved their downfall.

Ian Graham and Craig Hubbard left RCA with a formidable challenge, which became even greater when Anthony Shandran converted an early second-half penalty.

Although Andrew Jennings reduced the deficit, Neil Hixon’s side were unable to get back into the game and in the last minute Tommy English completed a comprehensive victory for the Northumbrians.

West Auckland Town extended their successful sequence of results, but they were taken to the wire by Shildon in the local derby at Dean Street.

The hosts led through Warren Byrne, but a brace of goals from Michael Rae turned the tables and West looked like going through in normal time.

However, in the 88th minute Stephen Johnson was brought down and Mark Stephenson converted the penalty to take the tie into extra time.

Auckland won with a dramatic 119th-minute winner. A cross from Alex Francis was sliced into his own net by Richard Paxton. Amazingly, there was still time for Shildon’s Danny Richmond to rattle the woodwork twice in 10 seconds.

Crook Town upset the odds with victory at Jarrow Roofing, where Brian Fairhurst clinched an extra-time win with his second goal.

Richard Hodgson (pen) was the visitors’ other marksman with David Malloy and Peter Kane on target for Roofing.

South Shields went out to Billingham Town who were five goals ahead courtesy of Jamie Owens, with a hat-trick, Nicky Martin and Richard Walker before Denver Morris and Alex Benjamin (pen) replied for the Mariners late in the game.

Philip Lumsden and Paul Antony were Newcastle Benfield’s matchwinners at home to Hebburn Town, who had levelled through Liam McBryde.

Gillford Park romped home at Darlington RA thanks to Tyran Taylor, Michael Reed and Mark Shiel (2). Richard Thompson replied.

Only one tie wasn’t decided on Saturday. Consett will have home advantage over Guisborough Town in Wednesday night’s replay after the sides shared eight goals. Michael Mackay (2), Marc Walton and Gavin Ross struck for the Steelmen, with Liam McPhillips (2), Shane Henry and Chris I’Anson replying.