Football round-up: Burnicle's back with a bang as West edge past Thackley in FA Vase
Thackley AFC............... 0
West Auckland Town... 1
A LATE second half strike by recently re-signed striker Adam Burnicle’s earned West Auckland a 1-0 win over Thackley AFC in the second round of the FA Vase at the Mitton Group Stadium.
He pounced after keeper Shane Bland’s heroics in saving a 77th minute Luke Robinson spot kick following a clumsy challenge from Ross Colquhoun.
Coming on as a second half sub, Burnicle struck with nine minutes remaining as his right-footed shot sailed into the net to send West into the third round.
Gary Forrest made four changes to the side which beat Dunston UTS in midweek with Liam Hegarty, Ross Colquhoun, Tom Portas and Amar Purewal replacing Lewis Dodds, Chris Hunter, Alex Francis and Adam Burnicle.
Heading into the contest West’s recent form was in contrast to their Northern Counties East League Premier Division opponents, who are currently struggling near the bottom.
The opening half hour was a scrappy affair with few chances from either side as the windy conditions made it tougher to move the ball forward.
In the 38th minute with their first sight at goal, West had a great chance to take the lead as Nathan Fisher’s cross was whipped in to the back post where fellow skipper Purewal was waiting, only to be denied with a vital interception from his opposite number Paul Whiteley.
With half-time fast approaching, Thackley posed a threat themselves as Pat McGuire’s in-swinging corner flew across the face of goal with no one able to get a decisive touch.
After the interval, the contest started to liven up and within six minutes, Fisher was in a goal-scoring position following Thomas Price’s exceptional through ball, though the striker could only divert his left-footed shot inches past the post.
In the 57th minute, Adam Mitchell found some space just outside the 18-yard box and sent his curling effort just over the bar as West began to take control of the tie.
The hosts responded on the 70-minute mark as Ray Sibanda hit one from distance which was comfortably dealt with by Bland.
Seven minutes later, Bland was called into action once more as Thackley were awarded a penalty when Colquhoun brought down Robinson inside the box.
From the resulting spot-kick, Robinson stepped up only to be kept out with a spectacular save from Bland, who was determined to pick up a second consecutive clean sheet.
In the 81st minute, West punished the hosts as Mitchell’s corner was parried by Luke Wilson into the path of Burnicle, who chested it down and delivered a brilliant strike which swept through a throng of Thackley players before finding the bottom corner.
The win took West through to the last 64 of the FA Vase, where the now face another away trip, this time to Greater Manchester to take on Avro.
Although from the division below Thackley, the club has good cup pedigree and the added advantage of being used to playing on an artifical surface.
Meanwhile, next up in the league for West is another away trip as they make the journey to Penrith on Saturday for a 3pm kick-off.
West Auckland – Bland, Morris, Cobain, Colquhoun, Price, Hegarty (Burnicle,73), Snaith, Portas, Fisher (c), Purewal, Mitchell
Subs not used: Dodds, Coulson, Connor, McKeown
Ebac Northern League
West Auckland Town... 2
Dunston UTS............... 0
A MINUTE’S silence was observed by players, officials and supporters before last week’s League Cup second round match between West Auckland Town FC and Dunston UTS to remember Leicester City FC chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and the four other victims of last preview weekend’s helicopter crash at the King Power Stadium.
Once the game got underway, West deservedly progressed through to the next round with a 2-0 win against their in-form visitors.
West could have taken the lead twice in the opening minutes but were denied by good defensive work and a point black save from Dunston keeper Niall Harrison.
West eventually took the lead on 30 minutes when Adam Burnicle bundled the ball over the line from close range.
With ten minutes to go, Alex Francis – who had earlier rattled the bar from a free kick – doubled the lead with a header from Adam Mitchell's free kick.
Crook and District League
GLAXO Rangers will look on their 2-2 draw against bottom-of-the-table Heighington as one point gained rather than two lost after a day when fortunes ebbed and flowed.
Rangers were forced into two early substitutions as winger Kieran Linton and ben Purchese picked up injuries.
The half remained goalless, thanks mainly to an excellent save from keeper Jonathan Kent.
Rangers took the lead early in the second half when forward Jamie McDougall was upended as he drove into the box. He picked himself up and made mistake with the spot kick.
Heighington never gave up and the visitors’ persistence paid off when they first equalised through Cameron Galloway and then took the lead through Dan O’Connor.
But for the efforts of Kent, Heighington could have increased their lead further.
Then with three minutes remaining, Kevin Maughan flicked home from a free kick to make it 2-2.
Heighington had one final chance to snatch the points, but Kent was again on hand to make an excellent save.
This Saturday, Glaxo visit Willington WMC.
In the second division, Evenwood Town went top thanks to their 10-1 win against Redwell Rangers.
Scott Duggan bagged four and their were two apiece for Liam Armstrong and Nigel Beckley. The scoring was completed by Connor Race and Ashley Murphy.
Dave Short was on target for Redwell’s consolation.
This Saturday, Evenwood host Wolsingham, while Redwell visit Ferryhill Town in the first round of the Colin Waites Cup.
Bowes crashed out of the South Durham Charity Bowl, well beaten 4-1 by Shildon Railway.
Andrew Close was the goal scorer for Bowes.
Wear Valley Sunday League
STAINDROP won a penalty shoot-out to progress to the third round of the league cup.
Two goals from Joe Peel and plus an own goal helped Staindrop to a 3-3 draw in 90 minutes against Spennymoor Ash Tree.
Peel, Jamie Hayman and Kieran Linton then scored the all important spot kicks as Staindrop won the shoot-out 3-0.
Toft Hill, unbeaten in the league, lost out in a five goal thriller in the league cup.
Jonathan Raine and Nigel Beckley were on target for Toft Hill, however, Lewis Martin bagged a hat-trick for BA Juniors Pavilion as they progressed to the next stage.
Bowes walloped Kirk Merrington half Moon 8-2, with Tommy Hutchinson and Rob Dominick both hitting hat-tricks. Adam Lee-Shield scored the other two.
West Auckland Club eased through 3-0 against Coundon MA thanks to goals from Daniel Wales (2) and Gareth McMahon.
In the first division, West Auckland Tunns defeated Willington Queen’s head 6-3. Marc Bell hit a hat-trick and there were goals for Callum Crook, Dale Dunn and Nick Peterson.
Division 2: Darlington RA 2, Bay Horse 7; NA Big Club 4, NA Sports Club 1.
League Cup: Wearhead United 1, Middlestone Moor Mason's Arms 6; BA Sports 8, North Bitchburn Red Lion 0; Bay Horse Blues 4, BA Snooker 1.