Keeper’s heroics deny Bowes a place in final
Crook and District League
THERE was heartbreak for Bowes FC who bowed out of the South Durham Bowl against defending champions Middlestone Moor Mason’s Arms at Tens Field on Saturday.
Leading 4-3 with just seconds left, Mason’s snatched a later equaliser.
That sent the game straight to penalties and the visitors ran out 3-1 winners, thanks to the heroics of Middlestone keeper Matthew Levitt who saved three Bowes spot kicks.
The game got off to a flying start with three goals in the first seven minutes.
Mason’s took the lead when a defensive mix-up led to an own goal before Rob Dixon brought the scores level with the first of his two goals.
Ross Morrow then restored the visitors’ lead before Phil Merryweather scored the goal of the day with a fiercely struck shot from a good 25 yards.
In a ding-dong affair, Mason’s benefitted from another own goal and a Lewis Coatsworth effort, while Dixon’s second and Callum Teasdale's strike gave Bowes the lead going into the dying minutes.
Mason’s will play Stanhope SSC in the final.
In division one, Glaxo Rangers slipped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of leaders Willington, who are now five points clear. Joe Hall scored for Rangers.
It was an eventful afternoon when Evenwood visited Stanhope, where the hosts took a 2-0 lead.
Ashley Murphy and Callum Crook pulled it back to 2-2 and Evenwood then had a retaken penalty saved both times and a man sent off.
Stanhope added two late goals to run out 4-2 winners.
Wear Valley Sunday League
GAINFORD slipped to defeat at home to division two leaders Bishop Auckland Bay Horse on Sunday.
Gabriel Radu scored the host's consolation in a 3-1 defeat.
With three league games remaining, Gainford could do with a decent run-in ahead of their division two cup final against Crook on Friday, April 17 at Willington AFC’s Hall Street ground.
In the first division cup semi final, Middlestone Moor’s Sunday outfit won through to the final thanks to a 3-1 win against West Auckland Club. Gareth McMahon scored for West.
Division 2: Shildon Elm Road 2, NA Sports 1; NA Gretna 1, Bay Horse Blues; North Bitchburn Red Lion 3, Spennymoor Ash Tree 2.
DFA Champions League: Grangetown Florists 1, Witton Park 2.
Ebac Northern League
West Auckland Town..... 0
WITH the last kick of the game, Callum Guy almost sent the Wanted Stadium into euphoria but fired fractionally wide and the result sees West remain ninth in division one.
Guy had replaced the injured David Dowson in Gary Forrest’s only change from West’s narrow midweek defeat to Shildon.
The Stockton fans were in fine voice and having only lost once in the league all season, they had plenty to shout about.
It was an evenly matched start, though neither side was able to grab the upper hand in windy conditions as both keepers had little to do in a subdued opening.
The game began to liven up when Tom Portas, who was at West last season, brought down his ex-teammate Adam Mitchell on the edge of the box and from the resulting free-kick, the winger struck the wall despite protests for handball.
In a half of few clear-cut chances, Anthony Bell chased down a loose ball on the right, but his swerving cross was sliced wide by Guy from 12-yards.
On 57 minutes, Tom Coulthard was booked for fouling Anthony Bell with Rees Greenwood gliding the ensuing free-kick over the crossbar.
The Anchors had won 11 successive league games prior to this contest but struggled throughout to get into their rhythm. The closest they came to scoring was through Fred Woodhouse, but the latter failed to keep his composure as he blazed over inside the 18-yard box.
In the game’s closing moments, Callum Roberts got a vital hand to Guy’s audacious lobbed attempt from the edge of the area and the South Shields loanee nearly struck a last-gasp winner only to hit the ball the wrong side of the left-hand post.
West travel to Guisborough Town on Wednesday evening in the quarter-finals of the Mitre Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup (7.45pm).
West Auckland: Flynn, Hegarty, Dodds (c), Cobain, Harwood, Mitchell, Scott, Greenwood, Purewal, Guy, A Bell. Subs not used: Connor, M Bell, Dowson, Mitton.
Referee: Graeme Hopper.
Harry Connor Crowe