Wearside League: Norton spot on to seal West End's semi-final spot

Sunderland West End progressed to the Durham County Trophy semi-finals with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Gateshead Rutherford at Ford Quarry on Saturday,

Monday, 25th December 2017, 5:30 am
Dan Martin fires Sunderland West End (red/white) ahead against Gateshead Rutherford at Ford Quarry on Saturday. Picture by Kevin Brady

The Wearside League high-fliers got off to a great start, when they took the lead after just three minutes, Daniel Martin finding the net by beating goalkeeper Richard Heiniger.

But Rutherford, from the Northern Alliance, came back strongly and Dan Fullen beat goalkeeper Alan Bate to equalise just after the half hour mark.

Four minutes into the second half, Kevin Gordon fired West End back in front, only for Stephen Matthew to level at 2-2, on 52 minutes.

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On the hour mark, striker Anthony Ross received a second yellow card for dissent, but 10-man West End were awarded a penalty in the 66th minute and Bryan Norton tucked away the decisive fifth goal of the game.

Manager Anthony Nelson, whose men have been drawn away to West Auckland Tunns in the semi-finals, said: “We had a few missing and I had to shuffle the pack quite a bit, but we dug in against a spirited Gateshead side, who battled well against us.

“I am pleased to go through to the semi-finals, as it was tough going out there in heavy conditions.”

Silksworth CW lost their quarter-final 3-1 at Leam Rangers, who will travel to Hartlepool for their semi-final.

Leam went ahead in the 34th minute when Ben Miller scored from the edge of the box, giving goalkeeper Joe Clayton no chance.

It was 2-0 in the 71st minute, thanks to a brilliant goal from James Woods, who beat four men before finding the net.

With six minutes remaining, Woods slotted home his second before James Cook replied with a neat volley.