Two cup finals were played at the Belle View Stadium in Consett today. The first game, which kicked off at 12pm, resulted in Chester-le-Street beating Ryton and Crawcrook Albion 2-0 and in the second game at 3pm Dunston UTS beat Bishop Auckland 1-0.
The attendance was 799. It was a great day at a spectacular Non League facility. Below are my match reports from both games.
Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup Final
Chester-le-Street 2-0 Ryton and Crawcrook Albion
Chester-Le-Street won the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup today with a 2-0 victory over Ryton and Crawcrook Albion at the Belle View Stadium in Consett.
Andrew Clarkson took the lead for the County Durham side 23 minutes in, and they sealed the win in added time through Daniel McGuire.
The Division 2 sides were teams that you wouldn’t expect to make the cup final as they finished 14th and 17th in the table respectively.
It was a poor start to the game with neither side really doing anything useful with the ball inside the first 20 minutes.
However, in the 23rd minute Ryton came astonishingly close when Jamie Dunn’s shot from the right hit the crossbar, and Mason Stephenson failed to connect with the rebound.
Just moments later, Chester-le-Street took the lead when McGuire put in an excellent ball from the left and Clarkson headed home from close range.
The Cestrians almost doubled their lead five minutes later when captain Kevin Megran tried his luck but his effort went just over the bar.
They had another chance just four minutes from the interval when Joshua King headed just wide on the end of an excellent free kick on the left.
Ryton made a good start to the second half, and got themselves a penalty in the 57th minute after Connor Lyon brought down Stephenson in the box.
However, it wasn’t to be for RACA as Callum Turnbull’s weak penalty was saved with ease by keeper Jack Wilson to the left.
Chester-le-Street almost sealed the win in the 84th minute when Clarkson’s shot was cleared off the line by Philip Hodges.
Ten minutes later, the Cestrians did put the game to bed when McGuire was on the receiving end of a good through ball and he buried it past Darren Houghton in the bottom-right corner.
The win meant Chester-le-Street won the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup for the first time.
Chester-le-Street: Wilson, Stephenson, Lyon, Walker, Dixon, Reynolds, Kind, McGuire, Megran (c) (Hepplewhite 83), Mole (Naylor 83), Clarkson.
Booked: Lyon and Reynolds
Subs not used: White, Greaves and Iley.
Ryton and Crawcrook Albion: Houghton, Below (c), Barker, Turnbull, O’Dowd, Anderson (Hedley 74), Hodges, Stephenson (Shorrock 60), Dunn (Moody 75), Davis, Hepple.
Booked: Barker and Hodges
Subs not used: McMeekin and Anstey.
Brooks Mileson Northern League Cup Final
Bishop Auckland 0-1 Dunston UTS
Dunston UTS won the Northern League Cup for the sixth time today with a narrow 1-0 victory over Bishop Auckland.
Captain Dale Burrell scored the only goal of the game in a tight contest at the Belle View Stadium.
Bishop Auckland caught everyone by surprise by making the cup final as they’d had a poor season in which they finished in 19th position in the Northern League Division 1, while Dunston UTS finished 10th and were in their second cup final of the season.
It was a scrappy start to the game, but Dunston came close four minutes in when Burrell headed wide on the end of a free kick.
Chances were few and far between after that, and the next chance didn’t come until the 28th minute when Jake Stafford’s long range effort for the Fed went over the bar.
The best chance of the half came five minutes later when Liam Thear laid the ball off to Mark Fitzpatrick and his close-range effort was tipped over the bar by Bishop Auckland keeper Gareth Young.
On the brink of half time, Bishop came incredibly close when Thomas McAloon’s shot was blocked just before Niall McGoldrick’s strike took a deflection off a defender and went out for a corner.
Five minutes into the second half, Dunston came close when Callum Elliott headed just wide of the target on the end of Daniel Halliday’s impressive cross.
Bishop Auckland came incredibly close in the 64th minute when Michael Hoganson’s shot was saved and then Christopher Wynn fired over the rebound from close range.
Elliott came close again for the Fed six minutes later when he cut in the box on the right only for his shot to be saved to the left.
Dunston eventually took the lead in the 76th minute when Burrell got hold of the ball on the left and he fired past Young in the bottom-right corner from long range.
The Fed then had the opportunity to put the game to bed in the 79th minute when they got a penalty. This came after Rhys Porter brought down Thear in the box.
Like in the other cup final, the penalty was missed as Fitzpatrick’s poor penalty was saved to the left by the excellent Young.
There weren’t any significant chances following this, and Dunston just edged the game to add to their trophy collection.
Bishop Auckland: Young, Hart, Hassan, Hoganson, Johnson (Goundry 71), Thompson, Ryder, Porter, McAloon, Wynn, McGoldrick (Lovegreen 86).
Unused sub: Adams
Dunston UTS: Harrison, Marrs, Capewell, Hall, Halliday (c), Elliott, Stafford, Pearson, Thear, Burrell (c), Fitzpatrick.
Subs not used: Pollock, Grant, Heslop, Lowther and Henderson