West Auckland roar back to edge out Whitley Bay in Vase thriller
West Auckland Town roared back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to progress into the fourth round of the Buildbase FA Vase on Saturday.
With both teams steeped in Vase history, the match was always likely to be a good game, but it turned out to be a brilliant tie.
Bay took the lead after 16 minutes, when Alex Kempster made no mistake from the penalty spot, following a foul on Kyle Patton by keeper Adam McHugh after he failed to grab a high ball.
Five minutes later, Kempster struck again on the break, with a left-footed shot past McHugh from 15 yards.
West had the chance to get back into the game on the half hour, but Anthony Bell’s penalty hit Tom Flynn’s left-hand post and rebounded to safety.
Flynn made three magnificent saves to keep West at bay before the break, but he could not stop Nathan Fisher heading home Adam Mitchell’s delicate free-kick from close range early in the second half.
Bay regained the initiative when Kempster completed his hat-trick, heading home soon after.
But Gary Forrest’s men roused themselves and dominated from that point.
Two goals in eight minutes, both from set-pieces, got West level.
Left-back Darren Richardson nodded in the first from a Mitchell free-kick, then smashed home a loose ball from a free-kick from the left.
In a dramatic finale, with eight minutes added on, on-loan Darlington midfielder Arran Wearmouth reacted quickly in the 97th minute, to shoot high into Flynn’s net, to spark wild celebrations and leave Bay deflated.
Newcastle Benfield had an excellent 3-1 win over neighbours North Shields.
Veteran forward Paul Brayson was their hero, grabbing a hat-trick. He opened the scoring on 27 minutes, with a 30-ard beauty, giving goalkeeper Sean McCafferty no chance.
North Shields equalised almost immediately, Craig McFarlane netting with a free-kick. However, Brayson restored Benfield’s lead on 50 minutes, following a defensive error, and sealed the win from close range in the 70th minute.
Marske United progressed with a 3-2 win at Runcorn Linnets, conquerors of Sunderland RCA in the last round.
Two Craig Gott goals either side of half-time, one from the penalty spot, put the Seasiders in command, and Leon Carling made it 3-0.
Runcorn fought back with two late goals, through Danny O’Brien (penalty) and Antony Hickey, to set up a tense finish, but United held on.
Stockton Town are also through to the fourth round, for the first time, thanks to a narrow but convincing 1-0 victory over City of Liverpool, who knocked out Ryhope CW last month. In front of a big crowd, and a vociferous away support, Fred Woodhouse fired home the only goal in the 20th minute.
The only game in the Ebac Northern League, Durham City moved into seventh position in Division Two, just four points of the promotion places, with a 2-1 win at West Allotment Celtic.
Kieran McWaters gave the Citizens the perfect start, scoring in the second minute.
When Callum Smith smashed home, making it 2-0 in the 79th minute, the game looked over. Rui Martins netted in the fourth minute of stoppage time to halve the deficit, but City held on.