ON THE SPOT: Evenwood’s Gareth McMahon steps up to take the penalty – the shot hit the bar			    TM pic
ON THE SPOT: Evenwood’s Gareth McMahon steps up to take the penalty – the shot hit the bar TM pic


Auckland Charity Cup Final

Evenwood Town.... 2

Willington WMC.... 3

WHEN Willington’s Jack Evans scored inside the first minute of the second half to put his side 3-0 up, this game looked done and dusted.

Evenwood’s players, however, had different ideas and gave it everything to claw their way back into the game and came within the width of the bar to forcing a penalty shoot-out. Willington had outplayed Evenwood during the first 45 minutes and thoroughly deserved their 2-0 lead.

After a quiet first 20 minutes, Evans opened the scoring with an excellent strike from just outside the box that gave keeper Craig Hannant no chance.

Kenny Wilks, who gave the Evenwood back four a torrid time during the first half, then doubled the lead.

When the teams emerged after the interval, Evenwood were caught cold by Evans who extended the lead.

Better late than never, Evenwood were spurred into action and Chris Howe pulled one back on 55 minutes.

With Willington now second best, Paul Dawes made it 3-2 when he met a corner to head home.

Then, with ten minutes to go, Evenwood were awarded a penalty after Robert Worthy received a nasty blow to his head.

Amid concern and after a lengthy delay the youngster had to be helped from the pitch. Gareth McMahon stepped up and fired the kick against the bar.

Evenwood then laid siege to the Willington goal, but could not find an equaliser before the ref blew for full time after adding on a good ten minutes.

Ebac Northern League

Division 1 play-offs

WEST Auckland Town secured their place in the play-off final with a stunning last minute winner at near neighbours Shildon.

The hosts had finished 16 points ahead of West, coming runners-up to promoted Bishop Auckland, but all bets were off for a one-off play-off.

In front of a crowd of more than 600, the defining moment came when Joey Hope won the ball on the left and his quick cross found Josh Scott unmarked in the box and his first time effort beat the advancing keeper to set off wild celebrations among the players, officials and supporters.

The other play-off semi-final was an equally cagey affair with Heaton Stannington defeating Birtley Town 1-0.

By virtue of finishing above West in the league, Heaton hosted the play-off final which was being played as the Mercury went to press.

l We’ll have a full report of the play-off final online at www.teesdalemercury.co.uk.

Stuart Laundy

Wearside League

West Auckland FC Reserves v Barnard Castle FC

WEST secured promotion into the Wearside League Premier Division with victory over Barnard Castle.

They beat Barney 2-0, and fellow promotion contenders Ferryhill Athletic couldn’t salvage anything away to league leaders Hetton Juniors, meaning their rise up a division is guaranteed.

Barney can have no complaints about the result at the Wanted Stadium.

They must have been thankful they were able to keep the deficit to just one at half-time.

Players that were missing left holes in a side that has struggled to field its full-strength 11 since August.

They had three players absent from the side that beat Ferryhill and were unable to make a real dent in the West Auckland defence.

Jamie McDougall and Rob Dixon fed off scraps, with the home keeper barely called into action.

Joe Ramage in the Barney goal restricted them from extending the lead when he saved a second half penalty.

West played fast, free flowing football and strung passes together in the middle of the park.

I believe they will do more than just hold their own in the Premier Division next year.

Barney’s final league game of the season is at home to New Durham AFC on Wednesday, 7pm kick off.

Sam Alexander