Dodds fires West into last 16 of the FA Vase
By Harry Crowe - Reporter
FA Vase fourth round
West Auckland....... 1
Walsall Wood.......... 0
LEWIS Dodds’ delightful second half strike earned West Auckland Town a place in the last 16 of the FA Vase at the expense of a battling Walsall Wood.
Dodds precisely struck the match-winner two minutes after the break to book West’s place in the fifth round.
Gary Forrest made three changes from the goalless draw at Ryhope with Dodds, Alex Francis and Liam Hegarty replacing Craig Spooner, Nathan Fisher and Adam Mitchell, who was suspended.
In a closely-contested start, the first notable opportunity came through David Dowson, whose cross was flicked on by Amar Purewal but Hegarty’s soft effort fell straight into the gloves of Lloyd Ransome.
Peter Till responded for the Midland League Premier Division outfit on 15 minutes as he latched on to a long throw and volleyed a venomous strike from inside the 18-yard box against the outside of the right-hand post.
The wind played its part at the Wanted Stadium and chances were few and far between throughout the majority of the first half.
In the 47th minute, the game sprung to life courtesy of a stunning finish from Dodds on the edge of the area as he connected sweetly from Purewal’s layoff with the outside of his left boot before it curled past Ransome in the bottom left corner.
West increased their tempo and pressed for a second soon after with Francis flashing a close-range shot just wide of the target.
Halfway through the second period, a slip by a Walsall defender allowed Dowson to find Purewal in the centre though his subdued effort was smothered by Ransome.
The visitors showed plenty of spirit and defended well but lacked creativity in the final third. The closest they came to an equaliser was via Michael Townsend’s towering header from Jonathan Haynes’ free-kick which sailed over Tom Flynn’s goal.
West dug deep to hold on for the win.
West Auckland: Flynn, Harwood, Price, Cobain, Mitton, Dodds (c), Francis, A.Bell, Dowson (Spooner, 76), Purewal, Hegarty
Subs not used: – Colquhoun, Greenwood, Hornsby, Hurworth, Connor, M Bell.
Referee: Neil Howlett.
l West’s reward for Saturday’s win is a trip to the south coast for a tie at Plymouth Parkway FC. Elsewhere, Herbburn were drawn away to Lonridge town and Consett will place either Deal or Binfield.
Crook and District League
BOWES went to the top of the first division after a narrow win against title rivals Middleston Moor Mason’s Arms.
With conditions bordering on unplayable due to the strength of the cross wind, Bowes edged the match 1-0 to inflict a first defeat in all competitions on their opponents.
Bowes could have taken the lead within seconds of the start as a good move down the left followed by a devilish cross just evaded the oncoming attackers.
As it was, the teams went in level at half time and in a game of few clear cut chances, it was the ver reliable Rob Dixon who scored the winner.
By contrast, Glaxo Rangers were involved in a high scoring thriller against Ferryhill in the Alan Britton Cup.
Adam Goodfellow and a brace from David Patterson ensured the game ended 3-3 and it was straight to penalties.
Sadly for Glaxo, it was not to be. After a protracted shoot-out, Ferryhill took the tie 9-8 to set up a second round tie against Shildon Railway.
On Saturday, Bowes are at home once again when the face Cockerton Club in the second round of the Norman Wright Memorial Trophy.
Evenwood host Willington WMC in the second round of the Weardale Charity Cup, while Glaxo have the weekend off.
Wear Valley Sunday League
THE dale sides drew a blank on Sunday morning.
In the first division, West Auckland Club proved too strong for Staindrop is a competitive match, running out 5-3 winners. West were thankful for two goals apiece from Andrew Howard and Gareth McMahon snr and one from Myles Swift, while on target for Staindrop were Robert bell, Ben Clarke and Adam Lee-Shield.
Witton Park remain unbeaten in the league after overwhelming Toft Hill 8-2. Kevin hallimond and Chris Murphy were the scorers for Toft Hill, who are five points adrift of Staindrop at the bottom. In the second round of the league cup, Newton Aycliffe Sports Club were too strong for Gainford Cross Keys, coming away with a 3-0 win to secure a semi-final berth.
Division 1: Middlestone Moor Mason's Arms 3, Coundon WMC 4.
Division 2: Bay Horse 5, Spennymoor Ash Tree 1; North Bitchburn Red Lion 5, NA Gretna 1.
League Cup round 2: BH Blues 0, BA Pavilion 1.