Football round-up: Late fightback sees Bowes through to semi-final of South Durham Bowl
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
Crook and District League
BOWES FC produced a grandstand finish to book a place in the South Durham Bowl semi-finals.
Facing off against Cockerton at Tens Field, it was the first time players from either side had pulled on their boots for the best part of a month – and that was reflected in a first half stalemate.
However, the game burst into life in the opening minutes of the second half when the visitors took the lead.
An excellent cross was played in to the gap between keeper Richard Borrowdale and his back pedalling defence and Cockerton forward Lee Gibbon nipped in to fire home.
For long periods of the second half it looked as if that might be the decider.
Bowes created chance after chance but it appeared as if it may be one of those afternoons.
With time running out, all that changed when Rob Dixon volleyed home from about 12 yards after Cockerton failed to clear.
Josh Bousfield almost fired in the winner when his screamer from a good 25 yards took the paint off the outside of the post.
Then, with penalties looking likely, up popped Tom Merryweather at the back post to head home and see Bowes through.
The team’s reward for their efforts is a home tie against holders Middlestone Moor, who despatched Shildon Railway 6-0.
The other semi-final will see Ferryhill Town play Stanhope SSC.
At the other end of Barney, Glaxo Rangers and Evenwood were engaged in a local derby for league points.
On this occasion, it was the visitors who run out 5-1 winners. Nigel Beckley, Mike Ainsley, Callum Crook, Tony Callaghan and an own goal saw Evenwood to a comfortable win. Ben Lambert bagged the consolation for Glaxo.
This Saturday sees Bowes entertain Middlestone Moor in the league, while Glaxo Rangers play Ferryhill Town in the Alan Britton Memorial Cup first round.
Wear Valley Sunday League
GAINFORD began 2020 in fine style with a 3-1 home win against Spennymoor Ash Tree.
Tony Walker, Shane Walker and Alan Haycock were on target and the win sees Gainford consolidate their place in mid table in division two.
It was not such a good day for Staindrop, who suffered a 4-1 reverse at the hands of Coundon WMC in the first division.
Jonathan Foster scored Staindrop’s goal.
Division 1: West Auckland Club 1, BA Pavilion 10.
Division 2: Bay Horse 5, BH Blues 2; Shildon Elm Road 1, Coundon Three Tuns 1; NA Gretna 2, Wearhead Utd 2; North Bitchburn Red Lion 1, NA Sports 3.
Durham Sunday Cup: Houghton Two 2, Witton Park 2 (Witton won on penalties).
Durham Champions League Cup: Middlestone Moor Mason’s Arms 3, Stockton Portrack 1.
Ebac Northern League
Ryhope CW.................. 0
West Auckland Town... 0
IN a largely uneventful contest neither side gained the upper hand.
The result leaves West in seventh, level with Billingham Town and neighbours Bishop Auckland on 36 points but ahead on goal difference, while Ryhope remain in 14th, seven points above the relegation zone.
Gary Forrest made three changes from the 2-1 derby day victory over Bishop with Tom Price, Craig Spooner and Nathan Fisher replacing Lewis Dodds, Alex Francis and Rees Greenwood.
The best chance in the first half fell to Ryhope just 20 seconds in when James Ellis darted forward and put it on a plate for Bailey Judson in the centre, who miscued his shot and watched it hit the outside of the left-hand post.
Despite the early scare, West, and Tom Flynn in particular, looked relatively comfortable in keeping a second clean sheet in three matches.
Gary Pearson’s side were presented a decent opportunity on 64 minutes as substitute Robbie Bird, who replaced Judson, intercepted a poor clearance from Flynn but the ex-Cowdenbeath shot stopper was alert to the danger to collect his tame effort.
The closest West came to open the scoring was 15 minutes from time through David Dowson’s close-range volley and Anthony Bell’s curling effort from the edge of the 18-yard box.
West look to get back to winning ways on Saturday when they turn their attention to the visit of Walsall Wood in the FA Vase fourth round with a place in the last 16 up for grabs (3pm).
West Auckland: Flynn, Harwood (c), Price, Cobain, Mitton, Mitchell, Spooner (Greenfield, 81), Bell, Fisher (Francis, 66), Purewal (Burnicle, 81), Dowson
Subs not used: Hegarty, Greenwood
Referee: Stephen Dial
Harry Connor Crowe