Sunderland West End secured a thrilling Durham Challenge Cup first round success at Northern Alliance outfit Birtley Town last night.
The home side took a shock 12th minute lead, but West End quickly drew level when Bryan Norton fired in the equaliser.
The Wearside League men went ahead with Nathan Burrell’s 18th-minute strike, and, three minutes before half time, Lee Smith made it 3-1.
The tie looked over when Mark Catcheside rifled a fourth goal on 49 minutes, but Birtley kept battling and got two goals back, the second in the final minute, to ensure a tense finale for West End.
Willington lost 3-2 on penalties to Billingham Synthonia after a hard-fought 3-3 draw.
Ashley Woodier headed in Synners’ opener, after beating the keeper with a lob, but Damon Ellis’s overhead kick levelled it up and Conor Winter put the home side in front on 20 minutes.
Synthonia hit back to lead by the break, courtesy of Jordan Jewson’s cracker and a 25-yarder from Woodier.
Matty Moffat equalised at 3-3 on 79 minutes, but Willington were pipped in the shoot-out.
Jarrow lost 3-1 at home to Dunston UTS in an all-Northern League tie.
Adam Rundle fired the First Division visitors ahead after 25 minutes, but Jordan Mellish equalised from close range, after a corner led to a goalmouth scramble in which Jarrow hit the bar.
Dunston regained the lead when Rundle scored his second of the night, following a good team move, on 48 minutes and Mark Fitzpatrick fired a killer third goal late on.
Hebburn Town went out 6-5 on penalties to Hartlepool United, after a 1-1 draw.
Hebburn’s Paul Chow missed a 67th-minute penalty, but Mechack Kanda soon put the Tynesiders in front, netting after a shot was saved. Pools levelled on 82 minutes, though, when Liam Travers nodded in a Scott Harrison cross.
Hartlepool United equalised, to set up a tense last 10 minutes to the game, but it went to penalties.
Stockton Town beat Darlington RA 4-3 on penalties after a 3-3 draw.
Jamie Owens and two-goal Matty Garbutt had Stockton three up, but Sam England, James Wilson and Dominic Joynes sensationally levelled matters.
Northern League Marske United won 3-2 at AFC Darwen in their delayed FA Vase tie, sealing a home second round clash with Shildon.
Darwen twice led, but Craig Gott’s penalty and a close-range James Fairley strike, hauled Marske level before Fairley hit the Teessiders’ winner.