Wearside League: Silksworth make confident start to defence of Durham County Trophy

Silksworth CW (red) take on Bishop Auckland Reserves in the Durham County Trophy. Picture by Kevin Brady
Silksworth CW (red) take on Bishop Auckland Reserves in the Durham County Trophy. Picture by Kevin Brady
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Silksworth CW made a successful start to their defence of the Durham County FA Trophy when they ended comfortable 4-2 winners over Bishop Auckland Reserves on Saturday.

The Colliers hit exhilarating form in the opening half and their pressure was rewarded with three goals.

The scene was set after just eight minutes when Rob Hall’s tremendous free-kick from 30 yards flew into the net, giving Bishop goalkeeper Joe Gillis no chance.

It got better for the home side on 24 minutes, but this time it was a simple tap-in from Mathew Gray which doubled the lead.

And right on the stroke of half-time Silksworth just about booked their place in the next round as David Stevens’ shot from the edge of the penalty area took a deflection wide of Gillis.

Although the Durham Alliance Combination League high-fliers reduced the deficit 11 minutes into the second period, with a clinical finish by Reed Molloy, the Colliers regained a three-goal cushion in the 70th minute as Adam Storey netted from 12 yards.

Lee Ellison scored a simple second goal for Bishops, but, with only two minutes remaining, there was never any danger of Silksworth conceding the lead.

Harton and Westoe CW sprang a surprise, defeating on-song Hartlepool by the odd goal in five.

Third-top Pool have been in fine form and, when they struck twice in the first 22 minutes, it looked as if another win was on the cards.

Harton goalkeeper Jak Wells made two excellent saves from Lee Jones and Mattie Gardner, but he was powerless in preventing Alex Marshall from converting an 18th-minute penalty.

Four minutes later, Jones provided the cross for Gardner to double the home side’s lead, but, before the interval, Harton hit back with a close-range strike from Shaun Carroll.

Right on the hour mark, it was all to play for as Ben Cooper equalised and, 11 minutes from the end, he claimed the winner with a long-range effort which beat young Pool goalkeeper Michael Campbell.

Spennymoor Town Reserves went nap against Durham Alliance Combination League outfit Durham City Reserves at Coxhoe.

It was the Citizens who scored first, though, when Michael Webster took advantage of poor defending with only two minutes gone.

Carl Beasley levelled with a near-post header and Moors went in ahead at the break courtesy of Ross Morrow, who beat goalkeeper Joe Wilson from close-in.

Kai Willis headed in a David Gibson corner to make it three and Gibson then struck an exquisite free-kick past the wall and Wilson to just about wrap up the tie.

There was still time, though, for Spennymoor to complete a 5-1 victory, with Aidan Ramshaw rounding off a flowing move and firing into the bottom corner of the Durham net.

The entire league programme was washed out, but the Shipowners’ Cup first round tie at Redcar Athletic went ahead – thanks to the fantastic efforts of groundsman Paul Wilson.

Redcar were rewarded with a 3-0 victory over Richmond Town.

It wasn’t until the second half, though, that the deadlock was broken when a long ball from goalkeeper James Fleming was latched onto by Sam Webster and he drove a terrific shot into the net.

Three minutes later, Lewis Wood was brought down but Webster was wide of the mark from the spot.

Midway during the second period, Michael Woodhouse and Lance Skelton combined for Wood to score the crucial second goal and, 20 minutes from the end, Andy Jennings found Woodhouse with a great ball and his cross was converted by James Swan from close-range.