The entire Wearside League programme was wiped out and two of the three Shipowners’ Cup games also fell victim to the weather on Saturday, but Leam Rangers were thrilled that Wolviston managed to stage their second round tie.
Last week, the clubs agreed to switch the fixture to the 3G surface at Billingham’s Newfield College when it became apparent that Wolviston’s Metcalfe Park ground would be out of action for some time.
And Leam, who have been training on the all-weather pitch at Redheugh Boys Club for the last six weeks, adapted well to the conditions, romping to a 4-1 victory.
With just three minutes gone though, it was Wolviston who struck first when Lee Butterworth sent Junior Masandi clear and he beat goalkeeper Neil Postlethwaite from fully 25 yards.
The home side’s joy, however, lasted barely 60 seconds. Nathan Baddams intercepted an intended pass and fed man-of-the-match Jonathan Hirst, who buried his shot wide of goalkeeper Jon McLone from inside the penalty area.
Following two goals in four minutes, the game settled down and neither side threatened until the half hour mark. Wolviston conceded possession in midfield, Alan Mulholland picked up the ball and outstripped defenders before finding Connor Halpin whose powerful close-range header gave McLone no chance.
Early in the second period, Leam went 3-1 up. McLone parried a goalbound effort from Halpin but only into the path of Hirst who pounced on the rebound.
For a time, Wolviston saw a lot of the ball without threatening the visitors’ defence and their hopes of saving the tie just about ended in the 61st minute as Hirst’s snap-shot was fumbled over the line.
At 4-1, Leam were coasting, but Postlethwaite still had to make three important saves. In less than a minute, he denied Nathan Summersgill and Masandi and, when Wolviston were awarded a penalty for a foul on Andy McGirr, Postlethwaite came to the rescue, saving Ryan Hebb’s spot-kick.
Boldon CA were saved a journey to Stockton Town where they were due to play in the semi-final.
David Keithley’s goal earned Sunderland West End – facing a big fixture backlog – a 1-0 friendly success against Billingham Town, from the Northern League Second Division.