Ryhope CW endured major disappointment as their Buildbase FA Vase ambitions ended with a 5-2 defeat at impressive Billingham Town on Saturday.
Gary Pearson’s side went into the second round tie in good spirits, following a fine midweek First Division win over Seaham Red Star, but the Second Division Teessiders were up for the game too – and finished deserved winners.
The outstanding Craig Hutchinson headed home a first-minute free-kick, curled into the box by Chris Dickinson, to give them the ideal start.
But Ryhope, who had a strong penalty claim waved away, levelled when James Ellis raced onto a perfectly played through ball, got clear with a brilliant burst of pace and slotted home in style.
After Ryhope lost keeper Chris Rookes to injury, sub Jonny Ball was beaten by James Davies’s header from another right-wing free-kick, despite getting a hand to it.
Ryhope levelled again with a smart finish from Lee Chapman, capitalising on a defensive mistake.
But Billingham regained the lead before the break, with a tricky left-wing run from Elliot Beddows cut back for Hutchinson to finish with aplomb with a left-footed strike from the edge of the box, out of Ball’s reach.
Ryhope threw experienced centre-back Leon Ryan forward in the second half in a bid to keep their hopes alive, but Town’s pace caused constant problems for the visitors and they passed up two glorious chances before going 4-2 ahead through the lively Luke Hogan, whose clever shot beat Ball.
Dickinson killed off Ryhope with a fifth goal from the edge of the box, though Ryhope kept fighting and hit the woodwork before seeing Chris Trewick head just wide.
Fourth-bottom Ryhope must now focus on keeping clear of the relegation zone as they look to consolidate in their first ever top-flight campaign in the Northern League.
Neighbours Sunderland RCA – who got through to the fifth round last season – made progress into today’s third round draw after a tight battle with Second Division visitors Stockton Town.
Neither side could find a way through in normal time, sending the game to 30 minutes of extra time in a bid to avoid a midweek replay.
And RCA won the day after being awarded a penalty in the 108th minute, when Adam Nicholson brought down Steven Callen just inside the box.
Expeienced former Hartlepool United player Colin Larkin made no mistake from the spot, firing low to the right of Stockton goalkeeper Michael Arthur’s dive, although the keeper was close to getting a hand to the effort.
Lowly Chester-le-Street went down 2-0 at North Shields, but the Ebac Northern League Division One leaders left it late.
The Cestrians defied their hosts until the 72nd minute when Gareth Bainbridge’s shot found the corner of the net.
The tie was killed off eight minutes from time when Ryan Carr’s speculative 30-yard shot found the top right-hand corner of the Chester net.
Shildon secured a comfortable 5-0 win at Yorkshire outfit Pickering Town.
Mickey Rae’s first-half brace set them on their way and Lewis Wing just about sealed victory when he scored just before half-time.
Ex-Sunderland player David Ferguson made it 4-0 after 49 minutes, smashing a shot past Toby Wells in the Pickering goal, then Amar Purewal completed the rout on 71 minutes with a low shot.
South Shields enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 home win over Marske United.
Carl Finnigan headed home after just 15 minutes following a Julio Arca corner, to give Shields the lead.
David Foley’s shot from the edge of the box five minutes later all but sealed the deal for the Mariners, delighting a 1,116 attendance.
Paul Garthwaite (2), John Campbell and Dennis Knight all got on the scoresheet as Newton Aycliffe outgunned visitors Worksop Town 4-0.
Holders Morpeth Town continued their defence of the Vase by romping home 4-0 away to Northern Counties East League club Hallam.
Matthew Grieve, two-goal Steven Anderson and Liam Henderson did the damage.
Newcastle Benfield lost 1-0 to Penrith, with Grant Davidson on target.
Dunston UTS will try again tomorrow night to stage their tie against Northern Counties East League club Hemsworth Miners Welfare.