There was heartbreak for Washington when they conceded the winner to Marine with almost the last kick of the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round replay at the Nissan Sports complex last night.
Following Saturday’s heroic performance, manager Steven Hutchinson was confident of his team’s chances and for the entire 120 minutes the Mechanics held their illustrious opponents, who are two divisions above them in the pyramid.
John Butler fired the hosts ahead when he broke clear and thundered the ball into the top corner of the net with only 12 minutes on the clock.
It was just the sort of start Washington craved and they held the lead until the 76th minute when they were caught on the break and Lloyd Ellams fired past goalkeeper Josh Carmichael.
Washington almost won the tie when they headed against the inside of post in last minute of normal time.
The tie went into extra time and on 108 minutes Carl Peers swept Marine ahead from the edge of the penalty area.
But within two minutes Hutchinson’s battling troops were level as Michael Tait struck from close range following a corner.
A penalty shoot-out was on the horizon, but in the very last minute Peers’ low shot from the edge of the penalty area found its way into the net.
The Mechanics gave another staunch performance for which they should be rightly proud – but it just wasn’t to be their night despite being urged on by more than 300 fans.
In the Ebac Northern League Second Division, Chester-le-Street are now four points clear at the top after defeating Hebburn Town 2-1 with goals by Michael Hepplewhite and Scott Heslop. Channon North had equalised for the South Tynesiders.
South Shields leap-frogged Team Northumbria into second place with a crucial victory over Whickham at The Glebe where Warren Byrne scored the only goal a few minutes after being introduced as a substitute.
Ryhope CW conceded a two-goal lead to Ryton and Crawcrook Albion and are seventh.
Richard Hodgson (pen) and Stephen Francis had them comfortably in front at the halfway stage, but after Sam Moore halved the deficit, David Backhouse equalised midway during the second half.
Tow Law Town scored eight times at the weekend, but couldn’t manage one goal at Alnwick Town, who enjoyed a 3-0 romp courtesy of Tom McPherson, Jamie Dixon and Brad McClelland.
In Division One, Guisborough Town and Marske United both made progress as they challenge for the championship.
Guisborough are up to third, behind leaders Shildon and Morpeth Town after they won a seven-goal thriller at Ashington with strikes by Curtis Round (2), Peter Bulmer and Daniel McWilliams.
Dylan Williamson and Lee Scott, with a brace replied for the Colliers.
An only goal from Nathan Mulligan in the home game with Penrith lifted Marske United to fourth top – equal on points with Guisborough.
West Allotment Celtic, who held Dunston UTS to a draw at the weekend, further eased their position near the bottom with a 1-1 draw at Consett for whom Luke Sullivan cancelled out Dale Pearson’s penalty for Allotment.