By James Main
Ebac Northern League Division 1
West Auckland Town 1-2 Hebburn Town
Morris 44 Chow 8
A late goal from veteran forward Graeme Armstrong secured a big win for Hebburn Town against fellow Northern League pace-setters West Auckland Town at the Wanted Stadium yesterday.
The win means that Scott Oliver’s side return to the top of Division 1.
Paul Chow took an early lead for the Hornets before Denver Morris equalised for the hosts just before half time.
Armstrong got the winner in added time to send the visitors home happy.
Oliver made four changes to the side that lost 4-0 at Sunderland RCA last week, with Andrew Jennison, Jack Donaghy, Luke Gilhespy and Chow coming in for Steve Hubery, Matty Tumilty, James Fairley and Lee Kerr.
Hebburn made a great start to the game and came close just six minutes in when Dan Groves’ excellent ball was helped on its way by Louis Storey to Michael Richardson who beat a defender before shooting just over the bar.
The Hornets took the lead two minutes later when Jennison launched the ball up field, and it bounced perfectly for Richardson who headed across goal for Chow to volley home from close range.
In the 21st minute, Richardson was involved again when he cut in from the right and his shot was blocked by a defender.
20 minutes later the hosts almost equalised when Daniel Parker’s header from a corner was cleared off the line by Gilhespy.
Two minutes later, West Auckland came close again when Thomas Price’s strike across goal took a deflection off his former Seaham team-mate Gilhespy and went out for a corner.
The pressure from Gary Forrest’s side paid off as the resultant corner was poorly defended, and this enabled Morris to fire home in the top-left corner on the edge of the box just before half time.
West Auckland almost took the lead soon after the restart, as the ball was headed on by a Hebburn defender towards Amar Purewal who got a foot on it but it went just wide of the mark.
In the 60th minute, the hosts came incredibly close when Nathan Fisher’s ball was met by Purewal at the far post but headed just over.
Chances were few and far between after that, until Hebburn got a winner in added time.
Substitute Lee Kerr played an outstanding long ball towards Armstrong who latched onto a backwards header from a West Auckland defender and beat the keeper despite taking a touch off his legs on the way in.
Up next for the Hornets is Newcastle Benfield at home on Tuesday (7:30pm start).
West Auckland Town: Bland, Morris, Parker, Colquhoun, Price, Snaith, Dodds (McKeown 82), Cobain (Wearmouth 66), Mitchell, Purewal (Wood 72), Fisher (c).
Subs not used: Hegarty and Francis.
Hebburn Town: Jennison, Groves, Gilhespy, Donaghy, Wallace, Richardson, Storey (c), Stephenson (Kerr 45), Dibb-Fuller (Spence 72), Chow (Fairley 63), Armstrong.
Subs not used: Tumilty and Hubery.