Over-40s League: Star man Laidler leads Rolls-Royce to Echo Cup progress
Rolls-Royce edged through 1-0 in an entertaining Echo Cup game against Redcar Old Boys.
Rolls got the decisive strike with a great team goal on the 30-minute mark.
The ball was played from the back to Wayne Browell in midfield. He beat two players with some tricky football and natural pace and laid it off to ex-Plains Farm striker “Jonny on the spot” Laidler, who made no mistake from five yards with a right-foot shot.
Rolls had two or three chances to put the game to bed, but it finished 1-0.
Willow Pond slipped out with a 2-0 defeat at Richmond Town.
Gary Golightly and David Kelly went close for Willow, but Richmond took the lead from a counter-attack after the visitors lost possession in the opposition half and the fine passing move was finished off clinically.
Star man Mark Wood nearly equalised when he controlled the ball in the box and swivelled to volley goalwards, only for Richmond to head off the line.
Willow had a clear penalty appeal waved away, when a home player stopped a goalbound shot with his arm.
The Wearsiders kept battling and Kelly had a great opportunity tipped around the post, but the hosts were good on the counter and put the game to bed with a second goal. Keeper John Davis rushed out to dive at the attacker’s feet but he could not prevent the goal.
Oddies shrugged off their dismal league record to claim a single-goal triumph away to Washington JFC Biddick Inn.
Durham County Strollers got the better of Hedworthfield Red Hackle by the odd goal in three, while Wingate Cons convincingly defeated Shildon Grey Horse 3-0.
Houghton Cricket had a lot of possession, particularly in the first half, but without really threatening to score, and they duly lost 1-0 at home to Hartlepool Stag & Monkey.
Third Division leaders Stanley were thumped 4-1 at Redcar Town, while second-top Newcastle East End were surprisingly pipped 4-3 by visitors Woodhorn Lane.
Ivy Legends grabbed the derby bragging rights in the Billy Lorraine Cup, edging past lowly Oddfellows Arms.
Third-top Ivy did just enough to win through 2-1 after extra time.
Wearmouth Old Boys were beaten 2-0 by visitors Heighington Bay Horse, while table-toppers Roseberry Grange cruised to a 6-2 victory at Durham County.
Colonel Prior lost 4-1 to Hartlepool Vets after fighting back to level at the break, while Boldon Colliery Tavern thumped Trimdon Vets 4-1.
Red House exited the Kenny Ball Cup to First Division side Hartlepool Gillen Arms.
Yet they started well, dominating possession and deservedly went ahead from a good passing move.
But the hosts levelled on 75 minutes and then won it in extra time, with the keeper being lobbed. Red House had the chance to level from the penalty spot, but the strike went just wide.
Wearmouth CW also lost, going down 3-1 to Hartlepool Touchdown, also after leading.
Ryhope Foresters edged home 2-1 against Cramlington Burton House, while Grindon Broadway crashed 8-6 to Wallsend Community.
Washington Victoria Inn were thumped 4-0 at Darlington Shuttle & Loom, while First Division Easington CIU put up a great show before succumbing 4-3 to Premier front-runners Marden.
Seaham Marlborough squeezed past Ferryhill Greyhound with a 2-1 away triumph.
The Philadelphia started the second half of their Second Division campaign with a 3-2 defeat to remain stranded at the bottom of the table.
But they put up an excellent show which augurs well for the rest of the season.
Blakelaw dominated with lots of sharp passing and running off the ball, and opened the scoring when a right-wing cross was back-headed over a defender and keeper and into the net
Five minutes into the second half, Phili were awarded a free-kick just outside Blakelaw’s box.
Alan Jones stepped up to hit a terrific shot, which the home goalie just managed to keep out of the net, but Mark Nixon was on hand to ram the ball home to level at 1-1.
Phili rattled the hosts with some good football and only the woodwork stopped them from going ahead. They finally went 2-1 up when Paul Russell received the ball on the edge of the area and struck a firm shot into the bottom left corner of the net.
But Blakelaw rallied, changing players and tactics, and caught Phili out twice in the last few minutes to edge home 3-2.
Blakelaw SC’s success took them into top spot.
Mill View SC endured a disappointing 5-2 reverse at CSSC Darsley Park, who are now only two points behind the sixth-placed Fulwell outfit, with two games in hand.
Peterlee Helford were demolished 6-0 by Hartlepool Catholic Club, who had six different scorers.
John Hogg Funerals were also hammered 6-0, as Durham Stonebridge moved up to fifth place.
Horden Sportsmans held fourth-top Pelton Crown to a 1-1 draw.
Hylton CW missed the chance to regain top spot in Division One when they lost 2-1 at home to Dormans.
Hylton remain a point behind Hartlepool Gillen Arms but still have two games in hand, though Dormans are now up to third, two points adrift of Hylton.
Dubmire dropped to fifth place with a 2-0 home loss to South Shields, while Thornley Celtic rose to fifth-bottom with a 2-1 win over St Mary’s College.
In the Premier Division, Penshaw Catholic Club opened 2017 in style with a commanding 5-0 win at Billingham Swan, keeping them sixth but now level on points with fourth-placed Wearmouth CW.