Sunderland RCA squeeze past Red Star in entertaining Durham Challenhe Cup derby
Sunderland RCA edged home 3-2 in a thrilling Durham Challenge Cup first round tie against Seaham Red Star.
Although few chances were created in the first half, committed performances from both sides ensured an action-packed clash.
The breakthrough came right on half-time, with RCA’s Nathan O’Neill heading a corner past ex-Meadow Park goalkeeper Jordan Harkess.
Four minutes into the second half, a strong run from Colin Larkin ended with a fine pass to O’Neill, who clinically doubled the home lead.
On 61 minutes however, Seaham reduced the deficit when Tom Scott found the net, beating goalkeeper Keith Finch.
RCA made the game all but safe 10 minutes later, Michael Charlton beating Harkess from close range for 3-1. Ash Davis converted a penalty four minutes from time, but RCA held firm to reach the second round.
Chester-le-Street pulled off a shock 3-1 win over Division One visitors Ryhope CW.
Alex White was in excellent form and gave the lowly Second Division Cestrians the lead from a free-kick after 22 minutes, beating goalkeeper Jonny Ball.
Ryhope CW, fresh from a memorable FA Vase success, equalised five minutes before half-time when James Ellis finished well, following a through ball from Matty Weirs.
But Chester regained the lead with just three minutes left, when White scored his second goal.
In the dying seconds, White completed his hat-trick to seal a morale-boosting win for the hosts.
Durham City looked like pulling off a shock win at home to Shildon, but eventually went out 5-4 on penalties, after a close-fought 1-1 draw.
City took a shock lead in the 16th minute, when Callum Smith beat goalkeeper Nick Liversedge.
Out of the blue, Shildon equalised through Billy Greulich-Smith’s header in the 81st minute, and their momentum continued through to a narrow shoot-out triumph.
Consett won 1-0 at Newton Aycliffe, striking in the 37th minute, when Michael Mackay collected a through ball and curled a lovely shot into the bottom corner.
Evo-Stik North high-fliers South Shields were comfortable 4-0 winners at home to Jarrow Roofing.
Carl Finnigan was fouled in the 22nd minute and converted the resulting penalty.
Jamie Holmes doubled the lead, finishing well following a 47th-minute corner and Michael Richardson quickly fired homea third,
Luke Sullivan made it 4-0 from close range in the 56th minute.
National League North outfit Spennymoor Town won 3-2 at Billingham Town, having opened the scoring in the very first minute, when Andrew Johnson smashed home, following good approach play.
On the hour mark, Johnson broke clear and neatly finished to make it 2-0, but sub Joe Kerridge pulled one back six minutes later, with a great shot past goalkeeper Daniel Lowson.
Ryan Hall made the game safe for a much-changed Moors side, with an excellent individual goal in the 86th minute, though Elliott Beddow had the last word, hitting a second for the Teessiders a minute from time.
West Auckland had to scrap for a 2-1 win over near neighbours Crook Town.
The First Division high-fliers took an eighth minute lead, when defender Michael Weston deflected the ball into his own net, following a great cross whipped in by Arran Wearmouth.
With nine minutes remaining, Crook stunned West with a leveller, when Daniel Johnston lobbed the keeper to finish off a breakaway.
But, with just three minutes left, West regained the lead, when Denver Morris smashed the ball home from the edge of the box.
Whickham edged past Northern Alliance neighbours Gateshead Rutherford 2-1, with John Martin, after good work from Sam Hedley, and a 25-yard half-volley from Craig Jelley doing the damage.
Team Northumbria lost 3-2 at Runcorn Linnets in their FA Vase first round replay, fighting back gamely after going 3-0 down by the 40th minute.
In the TWR Bifolds Wearside League match, Hebburn Town Reserves increased their lead at the top of the table to four points, with a comfortable 2-0 win over Leam Rangers.
After a goalless first half, Hebburn took a deserved lead on 61 minutes, when Josh Houghton’s free-kick flew past the Leam keeper.
Jamie Lawson made it 2-0, netting after latching on to a fine through ball.