Durham Challenge Cup Preliminary Round
Hebburn Town 2-0 Birtley Town
Hebburn Town eased to the first round proper of the Durham Challenge Cup with a 2-0 victory over Birtley Town yesterday evening.
Veteran striker Paul Chow opened the scoring early on before Michael Richardson sealed the win in the second half.
Hebburn manager Scott Oliver made three changes to the side that beat Billingham Synthonia in the FA Vase on Friday. Luke Gilhespy, Paul Chow and Rob Spence came in for James Fairley, Graeme Armstrong and Andrew Stephenson.
Northern League Division 2 side Birtley came into the game having lost just one from their last five games, and sitting 6th in their division.
The hosts took the lead just two minutes into the game, and it was a sign of things to come for the underdogs. Richardson’s corner was headed across goal by Matty Tumilty and Chow was on hand to score a diving header in off the post.
Chow almost had a second in the 15th minute when he met a great ball from Dan Groves, but his effort went over the bar.
Chances were few and far between after that, and it wasn’t until the second half when either side looked like scoring. Luke Sullivan’s long range effort for the hosts in the 53rd minute went just wide of the mark.
13 minutes later, the Hornets doubled their lead when Chow lobbed the ball through the defence and Richardson fired home in the top-left corner from close range after Sullivan put it on a plate for him.
Substitute Lee Kerr later tried his luck from around 60 yards out, near the halfway line, but his impressive effort went just wide of the goal in the 75th minute.
Birtley’s only real chance came through Joe Badwick in the 82nd minute but his disappointing effort went straight at keeper Steve Hubery.
Hebburn almost had a third in added time when Chow made a good run on the left and his shot was stopped by the legs of visiting keeper Jordan Bolton.
Hebburn Town: Hubery, Groves, Gilhespy, Tumilty (Donaghy 56), Shaw, Richardson, Storey (c), Spence (Kerr 65), Dibb-Fuller (Fairley 69), Sullivan, Chow.
Subs not used: Mallinson and Wallace
Birtley Town: Bolton, Quigley, Hunter, Hood (White 73), Lane, Dodds, McEwen, Salsby, Badwick, T Smith (Fenwick 77), D Smith (Allsopp 73).
Subs not used: Pattison and Tanolt
Match highlights are available here.