NERVES were frayed at Bedford Terrace on Saturday when Ashington equalised with the last kick of normal time and then defeated Billingham Town 4-3 to move into the second round of the FA Carlsberg Vase.
Fortunes ebbed and flowed all afternoon. Stephen Roberts was an early marksman for the Teessiders and, after Stephen Young levelled, Michael Arthur restored the advantage to the home team.
The Colliers hit back through Gareth Bainbridge, only for Roberts to convert a penalty , and, with time running down, it looked as if Ashington were on their way out of the competition.
In a dramatic conclusion to normal time, Young restored parity – and in the second period of extra time Lee Scott hit the winner.
The match of the day was at Bedlington Terriers, and for the second time this season, Spennymoor Town defeated their arch rivals by an only goal.
They had already came out on top in the FA Cup and Gavin Cogden’s 80th-minute strike proved sufficient at Welfare Park, where Moors played all but nine minutes with 10 men after the dismissal of Kallum Griffiths.
Dunston UTS had their work cut out before edging Washington, who in the preliminary round caused a big upset when they defeated Consett.
A goal in the second half by Andy Bulford set UTS on their way, but they still needed a superb save by Andy Clark from a Glen Reay penalty to preserve a two-goal cushion.
With six minutes remaining, Tim Bowman reduced the deficit to set up an exciting finale but, despite exerting pressure on the home goal, Washington failed to produce an equaliser. Birtley Town, like Washington, harboured hopes of a giant-killing act – but hey were hit for six at West Auckland Town. where they found Mattie Moffat at his prolific best. He rifled four goals with Steve Brown and Garry Barnes also netting.
Tow Law Town went out at Tadcaster Albion, whose matchwinners were Tom Woollard and Terry Taylor, and South Shields suffered a similar fate at home to Thackley, for whom Rob Morgan and Luke Hudson scored.
Stokesley led courtesy of Brian Stewart, Grant Hickman (og) and Jamie Hopcutt at Northallerton Town, who staged a fine rally to level at 3-3.
Jason Newell (pen), Darren Mowbray and Peter Bulmer netted but Stokesley came out on top with a late winner from Lev Yalcin.
And yesterday, Nathan Jameson converted a last-minute extra-time penalty to earn Billingham Synthonia a 4-3 victory over Bishop Auckland. Consett extended their lead in Division One of the STL Northern League with a comfortable victory over Norton and Stockton Ancients at Belle Vue Park.
Lewis Teasdale, with a brace, and Gavin Barton had the Steelmen well ahead before Daniel Earl claimed a stoppage-time consolation for the Teessiders.
Shildon remain second but lost ground in the championship race when held to a draw at Jarrow Roofing.
Chris Hughes struck twice for the South Tynesiders, Justin Keegan and Stephen Johnson for Shildon.
After winning their first six games, Newcastle Benfield have taken just one point from the last two.
Scott Fenwick and John Campbell netted at Penrith, who were ahead at one stage thanks to Wayne Robertson and Graeme Anthony. Esh Winning belied their bottom-of-the-table position at Whitley Bay. who just scraped home with a 75th-minute goal from Damon Robson. The game attracted a crowd of 509 to Hillheads.
Chester-le-Street produced their best display of the season when they hammered Second Division leaders Guisborough Town at Chester Moor Park.
The Cestrians made a dream start, scoring three times in the opening 20 minutes through Nick Kane, Gary Shields and Mark Davison.
Kane added a second goal and the home side went nap through Liam McBryde, a recent signing from Ryton.
Team Northumbria also scored five times at home to Morpeth Town, who twice led through Wyn Fremlin and Matthew Wade. Dan Riley, Mark Fenwick, Nathaniel Price, Mark Bertram and skipper Gavin Donoghue all struck for Team.