Holders Chester-le-Street Town spot on to keep Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup hopes alive
Holders Chester-le-Street Town kept alive their hopes of retaining the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup with a penalty shoot-out semi-final win against Willington.
The Cestrians fell behind to a Dean Thexton goal on the half-hour mark, but the tie was taken to penalties when Craig Marron equalised from the spot on 80 minutes.
Town defender Alex Walker scored the decisive spot-kick to give his side a 6-5 win in the shoot-out.
FA Vase quarter-finalists West Auckland Town have been handed an away tie at Stockton Town in the last four of the Mitre Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup.
The tie will be the second meeting of the clubs this season after they shared the points in a six-goal thriller in a league fixture earlier in the season.
The other semi-final sees Whitley Bay travel to Sam Smith’s Park to face Newcastle Benfield.
Both ties will take place in the week commencing Monday 25th March.
Elsewhere, South Shields have bolstered their squad ahead of a vital few weeks with the signing of former Inverness Caledonian Thistle striker Connor Bell.
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The forward, who hails from Durham, has been training with Shields over recent weeks and has now received international clearance to complete his move to Mariners Park.
The 22-year-old was most recently on the books of Scottish Championship side Greenock Morton, who he departed last month.
He came through the ranks of Sunderland’s academy before spells at Rotherham United, Wrexham, Rhyl, Swiss side Servette, Inverness and Greenock Morton.
Bell is excited about the challenge ahead at Shields after being impressed by the ambition of joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton.
He said: “I had a bit of interest elsewhere, but I got in touch with the managers here and you could tell straightaway how ambitious they were for the club.
“They invited me to training so I saw the quality of the lads and I’ve been to the last few games.
“With the ambition of the fans, the managers and the players, you can tell it’s a club that’s going places.
“It was a no-brainer, really.”