FIVE STL Northern League sides go into today’s draw for the fifth round of the FA Carlsberg Vase – but only three are definitely through.
Holders Whitley Bay, Ashington and West Auckland Town all celebrated on Saturday, while Dunston UTS and Billingham Synthonia live to fight another day. Only Newcastle Benfield went out.
Seahorses boss Ian Chandler claims his players again have ‘the bit between their teeth’ for a fourth consecutive Wembley appearance and, judging by the demolition of Surrey side South Park before a bumper crowd of 761 at Hillheads, their dreams could be realised.
A super performance from hat-trick hero Paul Chow, Damon Robson’s strike and an own goal from Gerry O’Sullivan swept the Bay into the next round.
Ashington created history when they reached the last 16 for the first time in their history. Two goals ahead thanks to Mark O’Dea and Gareth Rees, they had to withstand a spirited fight-back at Newport Pagnell Town, who levelled through Darren Dykes and Dean Buss.
Before the interval the Colliers clinched a memorable victory with Gareth Bainbridge’s winner.
A powerful second-half performance earned West Auckland Town their place in the next stage. Bitton led through Mark Salter and, after Alex Francis equalised, Mattie Moffat and Stephen Brown eased West home.
Dunston UTS went behind at Wisbech Town, for whom Mick Davey struck. With only eight minutes left, Billy Irwin’s side led with a brace of goals from Andrew Bulford.
Matt Lunn crashed home the equaliser and worse was to follow for Dunston, who had Michael Dixon sent off in extra time. The replay is at the UTS Stadium on Saturday.
Billingham Synthonia travel to Cheshire for their replay with Runcorn Town after a 0-0 draw on Teesside. Newcastle Benfield were unlucky to lose to Herne Bay at the Sam Smiths ground.
James Campbell was an early scorer for the Kent side and, after Brian Dodsworth levelled, Kevin Leighton was sent off on 78 minutes.
The visitors took advantage of the numerical difference and went through with Rhys Lawson’s 88th-minute goal.
There was further good news for Whitley Bay when Sunderland RCA failed to defeat Penrith, enabling the Seahorses to remain top of the STL Northern League.
The Wearsiders were favourites to claim all three points against fifth-bottom Penrith, who went in front through Benjamin Jackson before Carl Beasley levelled.
RCA stay second, West Auckland Town are third and reigning champions Spennymoor Town, with games in hand on the leading trio, consolidated fourth place with victory at South Shields, where Daniel Moore, Keith Graydon and Craig Ruddy were the match-winners.
At the bottom, there’s still no respite for Stokesley SC, who have gained just one point in 28 attempts.
Not surprisingly Bedlington Terriers completed the double with a hat-trick from Anthony Shandran and further goals by Ian Graham and Stephen Bowey. When Nathan Porritt scored, it was only Stokesley’s 16th goal of the season.
Tow Law Town are second from the basement and, despite leading through Mark Nixon, they went down at Shildon, for whom Richard Flynn, Chris Hughes (pen) and Wayne Gredziak netted.
Jarrow Roofing’s slide continued at home to Marske United. Goals from Carl Charlton, Lee Donachie and Anthony Ormerod keeps Roofing in the relegation dog fight. Consett are now out of the bottom six following a good performance and result against Guisborough Town for whom Nathan Steel bagged a brace of goals.
The man of the moment, though, is Michael Mackay. After scoring his team’s five goals in last week’s win over Jarrow Roofing, he netted all four on Saturday.
In Division Two, Team Northumbria stretched their lead to 12 points when Nick Deverdics and Peter Watling were the match-winners at Thornaby.
Gillford Park moved into second place. They went nap at home to Brandon United as Mark Shield (2), James Parker, Michael Reed and Dean Douglas all beat goalkeeper Ryan Hindmarsh.
Goals by Carl Hewitt and Mick Ryan earned third-top Darlington RA crucial points at Chester-le-Street.
North Shields, whose fixture at Morpeth Town was postponed, are now fourth, but with several games in hand on the sides above them.