PENALTY: West were awarded a spot kick in the first half after Liam Heggarty was upended – despite claims the foul was committed outside the area
PENALTY: West were awarded a spot kick in the first half after Liam Heggarty was upended – despite claims the foul was committed outside the area

FA Cup Preliminary Round
West Auckland Town.... 3
Ashington..................... 3
(West won 3-0 on penalties)

WEST made it through to the FA Cup first qualifying round after a penalty shootout victory over Ashington which provided the climax to a memorable six-goal thriller at the Wanted Stadium.
Keeper Tom Flynn was the hero, producing two spectacular saves to deny the spot kicks of Ashington’s David Luke and Max Cowburn after Lee Scott hit the woodwork.
Jordan Blinco, Callum Patton and Michael Hoganson converted all three of West’s penalties to book their place in the next round.
Their reward is a home-tie in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup on Tuesday, September 22, when Runcorn Linnets will visit the Wanted Stadium.
In an end-to-end tussle, Dean Briggs fired the Colliers ahead before Blinco’s beautifully taken equaliser levelled proceedings at the interval.
Super-sub Kyle Fryatt headed West in front and turned provider for Adam Mitchell’s exquisite curled shot – but Ashington pegged the hosts back twice with goals from Scott and Briggs’ second of the afternoon to take the tie to a the shoot-out.
There had been an earlier penalty, awarded to West after Max Emmerson brought down Liam Hegarty – despite howls of protest that the foul had been committed outside the box.
Anthony Bell stepped up and watched his penalty saved by Adam McHugh, who produced a splendid low save down to his right-hand side.
The miss proved costly as the first goal of the contest arrived from the visitors in the 41st minute following a superb individual run from Briggs, who travelled from inside his own half before unleashing a left-footed finish beyond the outstretched arms of Flynn.
West responded with a quickfire equaliser as Blinco weaved into a tight pocket of space on the edge of the box and curled a wonderful strike past McHugh.
Buoyed by their leveller, West started brightly after the restart and within a minute were ahead through substitute Fryatt, who replaced Mason Hurworth, flicking Hoganson's his near post corner into the net.
Back came Ashington when Briggs’ angled shot was parried by Flynn and Scott was first to react to prod home from close range.
It didn’t take long for Mitchell to restore West’s lead, collecting Fryatt’s pass, and hitting a terrific 20-yard strike into the far corner.
Briggs, who had caused havoc all afternoon, nearly grabbed Ashington’s third four minutes later as he cleverly dinked the ball over an onrushing Flynn, only for Chris Hunter to come to West’s rescue as he expertly hooked it off the line.
There was still time for Ian Skinner’s side to level the scores once more after a cross by Tate found an unmarked Briggs in the middle who scored to send the tie to penalties.
Blinco confidently sent McHugh the wrong way only for Scott to crash his effort against the crossbar in each side’s first attempt. Patton slotted his spot-kick narrowly underneath McHugh while Flynn made the first of two superb saves to deny Luke.
Hoganson calmly dispatched his penalty to give West a 3-0 advantage in the shootout before Flynn’s decisive save from Cowburn saw West advance to the first qualifying round, which takes place on Tuesday 22 September.
West Auckland: Flynn, Hegarty, Harwood, Hunter, Horwood (Francis, 15), Hoganson, Hurworth (Fryatt, 45), Dodds, Blinco, Mitchell (Patton, 66), Bell
Subs not used: Bythway, Ball, Connor.
Referee: Grant Cuthbertson.
Attendance: 119.
Harry Connor Crowe
Crook and District League
EVENWOOD Town produced a good performance to hold champions Middlestone Moor Mason’s Arms to a 2-2 draw in the season opener.
Moor twice took the lead, but Evenwood claimed a point thanks to goals from Chris Howe and Jamie Lamb.
In the Durham Minor Cup, Glaxo Rangers comfortably overcame second division Catchgate Community Centre 6-0.
This Saturday, it is Rangers’ chance to test their mettle against Middlestone Moor when they welcome their opponents to Barney.
Evenwood Town also have a home game with Stanhope Town the visitors.
Bowes are now slated to kick off their campaign on September 26 with a home game against Willington WMC.

Wear Valley Sunday League
THE two dale sides drew a blank in this weekend’s fixtures.Gainford Cross Keys suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of BA Sports Bar.
Toft Hill Three Tuns, meanwhile, suffered a home reverse when Bay Horse Blues came calling.
The game finished 3-1 to the visitors with Matthew Tyrie scoring Toft Hill's goal.
Other results
Division 1: BA Pavilion 2, Middlestone Moor Mason's Arms 1; NA Sports Bar 1, Witton Park 7.
Division 2: Spennymoor Ash Tree 0, NA Roundhouse 6.
The game between Coundon WMC and Shildon was abandoned due to a serious injury to a Shildon player.