Newcastle cruise to FA Cup victory over Rochdale

Newcastle v Rochdale

Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay

Newcastle United 4-1 Rochdale

O’Connell og 17         Williams 86

M Longstaff 20

Almiron 26

Joelinton 82

Newcastle United cruised to victory putting four past Rochdale in the FA Cup last night at St James’ Park.

An Eoghan O’Connell own goal put the hosts in front before Matty Longstaff and Miguel Almiron scored to give the Magpies an early three-goal lead.

Joelinton added a fourth in the final ten minutes of the game, and Jordan Williams got a consolation for Rochdale four minutes from time.

Newcastle started the game really well and should’ve been in front in the 15th minute when Almiron hit the post from close range.

Steve Bruce’s side deservedly went in front two minutes later, when O’Connell slid the ball into his own net following a cross into the box from Matt Ritchie.

In the 20th minute, Longstaff doubled Newcastle’s advantage when he controlled the ball well and wrong footed visiting ‘keeper Robert Sanchez from close range.

Six minutes later, the hosts added a third when Rochdale failed to play the ball out from the back and the goalkeeper gifted the ball to Almiron who smashed the ball in the top-left corner.

Rochdale were much better after the break and came close four minutes into the second half but Jimmy Ryan could only fire the ball over the bar.

Chances were few and far between after that until the 82nd minute when Joelinton got on the end of a good ball from substitute Tommy Allan on the right to slot home and make it 4-0.

Rochdale got a consolation in the 86th minute when Newcastle failed to clear their lines following a corner and Williams struck on the edge of the box and the ball went in off the post.

The result means that Newcastle will play Oxford United at home in the next round at the end of the month.

Newcastle United: Darlow, Krafth, Lejeune, Lascelles (Allan 57), Ritchie (Shelvey 69), Hayden, S Longstaff, M Longstaff, Atsu, Joelinton, Almiron (Carroll 62).

Booked: Allan

Unused subs: Clark, Willems, Fernandez, Elliot (GK).

Rochdale: Sanchez (Lynch 45), Matheson, Williams, O’Connell, Norrington-Davies (Tavares 69), Ryan, Keohane, Dooley, Camps (Andrew 79), Henderson, Wilbraham.

Booked: Ryan

Unused subs: Baah, Bradley, Gillam, Brierley.

Attendance: 29,786

Gateshead undeservedly knocked out of FA Cup by Oldham Athletic

Gateshead v Oldham

Emirates FA Cup 1st Round

Gateshead 1-2 Oldham Athletic

Agnew 53       Morais 28 Smith 77

Oldham Athletic knocked Gateshead out of the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory which some would argue they didn’t deserve.

Filipe Morais put the visitors in front against the run of play before Liam Agnew equalised for Gateshead early in the second half.

Jonny Smith later restored Oldham’s lead and they held on for the win.

Heed manager Mike Williamson made two changes to the side that beat Curzon Ashton in midweek with Josh Kayode and Liam Agnew coming in in place of Jordan Preston and Connor Oliver.

The game lacked clear cut chances early on, and it wasn’t until the 27th minute when Gateshead came close. Greg Olley’s strike following a free kick was saved by Zeus de la Paz.

Moments later, the visitors went in front when the hosts failed to deal with a long throw and Morais was on hand to head home at the far post.

Early in the second half, Oldham almost doubled their lead when Chris McCann’s powerful effort on the edge of the box was saved by Gateshead ‘keeper Brad James.

However, the Heed equalised two minutes later when Agnew fired the ball into the bottom left corner from long range.

The hosts came very close to taking the lead when Olley’s header from a corner was parried out shortly before Scott Barrow’s powerful strike brought an outstanding diving save to the right from the ‘keeper.

Barrow came close again three minutes later but his well-drilled shot went just wide of the mark.

Oldham regained their lead in the 77th minute when Smith was on the receiving end of a good ball and he curled the ball round the keeper into the bottom-left corner.

Gateshead piled on the pressure towards the end but League 2 side Oldham held on for the win.

Oldham will find out their next FA Cup opponents tomorrow evening.

Gateshead: James, Nicholson, Lees, Nelson, Barrow (capt), Deverdics, Agnew (Preston 83), Tear, Olley, O’Donnell, Kayode.

Subs not used: Guthrie (GK), Blackett, Forbes, Oliver.

Oldham Athletic: de la Paz, Hamer, Egert (Mills 76), Stott, Iacovitti, McCann (capt), Missilou (Maouche 12), Eagles (Sylla 60), Morais, Smith, Wilson.

Booked: Egert, Iacovitti, McCann.

Subs not used: Woods, Fage, Adams, Emmerson.

Attendance: 2,199 (772 away)

Blackpool progress to FA Cup second round with comfortable win over Morecambe

Blackpool away

Emirates FA Cup 1st Round

Blackpool 4-1 Morecambe 

Delfouneso 9 Stockton 45+2

Gnanduillet 24

Virtue 45

Kaikai 84

Blackpool secured a comfortable win over Morecambe to progress to the second round of the FA Cup at Bloomfield Road today.

Goals from Nathan Delfouneso, Armand Gnanduillet and Matty Virtue gave the hosts a clear lead but Cole Stockton pulled one back for the Shrimps just before the break.

Sullay Kaikai put the game beyond doubt six minutes from time.

Both sides were unchanged from their previous games as Blackpool reverted to a 3-4-1-2 formation and Morecambe a 4-3-3.

The Seasiders started well and were in front within nine minutes when Liam Feeney kept the ball in carefully on the right before crossing it in to Delfouneso who headed home at the far post.

The visitors came very close to equalising in the 23rd minute when captain Sam Lavelle hit the crossbar on the end of Lewis Alessandra’s free kick.

Shortly after what could’ve been a turning point in the game, Blackpool doubled their lead when Gnanduillet headed home on the end of a corner.

Stockton nearly got one back for Morecambe in the 43rd minute – his powerful strike hitting the post.

The hosts extended their lead to three goals two minutes later when Gnanduillet’s shot was saved and Virtue was on hand to put away the rebound.

In added time, the Shrimps got one back when Tom Brewitt’s long range strike was saved and Stockton scored the rebound.

Chances were few and far between in the second half until Kaikai fired over on the end of a good cross on the left.

Six minutes from time, Kaikai put the game to bed when he lobbed Morecambe ‘keeper Mark Halstead to restore Blackpool’s three goal lead.

Blackpool will find out their next FA Cup opponents on Monday.

Blackpool: Alnwick, Edwards, Heneghan, Husband, Feeney (Nuttall 79), Spearing (capt), Virtue (Turton 61), MacDonald (Guy 61), Kaikai, Delfouneso, Gnanduillet.

Subs not used: Sims (GK), Scannell, Thompson, Tilt.

Morecambe: Halstead, Tanner, Old, Lavelle (capt), Conlan, Tutte (Leitch-Smith 45), Brewitt, Wildig, O’Sullivan (Cranston 74), Stockton (Miller 67), Alessandra.

Booked: Tanner, Conlan, Wildig, O’Sullivan.

Subs not used: Roche (GK), Buxton, Kenyon, Sutton.

Attendance: 5,371

Late Millwall equaliser sends Rochdale FA Cup tie to replay

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Emirates FA Cup 4th Round

Millwall 2-2 Rochdale

Wallace 17 pen  Henderson 32

Thompson 90  Done 53

Millwall narrowly avoided an FA Cup upset thanks to a late equaliser from Ben Thompson as they drew 2-2 at home to Rochdale at the New Den yesterday.

Jed Wallace put the hosts in front with a 17th minute penalty before goals from Ian Henderson and Matt Done either side of half time put Rochdale in front for much of the second half.

Thompson equalised for Millwall just before added time to trigger a replay.

Manager Neil Harris made nine changes to his side following a 4-3 win at Leeds United last week, while visitors Rochdale, who are struggling in League 1 hadn’t played for two weeks.

The two sides were fairly evenly matched early on, but the hosts were awarded a penalty in the 17th minute when Fred Onyedinma was brought down by Donervon Daniels in the box. Wallace stepped up and smashed the ball in the bottom-left corner to put his side in front.

Millwall almost doubled their lead two minutes later when Tom Elliott rounded the keeper but his effort was cleared off the line.

Rochdale then came close in the 31st minute when Mark Kitching beat a defender before his effort was blocked by Jason Shackell.

Dale equalised moments later when Andy Cannon played an impressive ball through to Henderson and he curled it round the keeper.

The visitors started brighter in the second half, and took the lead when Cannon put in a good ball, which was helped on its way by Tony Craig, and Done smashed the ball into an open net.

Millwall looked better once they brought Steve Morison on and reverted to a 4-3-3 formation.

Elliott headed over from Onyedinma’s ball in the 63rd minute, and then he had another header denied by keeper Josh Lillis five minutes later.

Three minutes from time, Elliott had a shot blocked before it went out of play. The hosts then got the equaliser they’d worked hard for in the last minute when Thompson volleyed home into the bottom-right corner on the end of an impressive ball from Morison.

The result means the two sides will face each other in a replay soon at Spotland.

Millwall: Martin, Romeo, Cooper, Shackell (Morison 59), Craig, Wallace, Thompson, Tunnicliffe (Williams 84), Ferguson, Onyedinma (Gregory 85), Elliott.

Subs not used: Archer, McLaughlin, Meredith, Saville.

Rochdale: Lillis, Daniels, McNulty, Delaney, Rafferty, Cannon (Rathbone 80), Camps (Adshead 51), Kitching, Done, Henderson, Andrew.

Booked: Camps and Andrew.

Subs not used: Ntlhe, McGahey, Thompson, Inman, Moore.

Attendance: 8,346




Mansfield earn home replay against Championship side Cardiff

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Emirates FA Cup Third Round

Cardiff City 0-0 Mansfield Town

League 2 side Mansfield Town took third place Championship side Cardiff City to a replay in the third round of the FA Cup today.

Cardiff manager Neil Warnock made five changes to the side that lost to QPR on New Year’s Day while Mansfield boss Steve Evans named an unchanged side following a 3-1 win over Carlisle United on the same day.

It was an uneventful opening half hour to the game, with the first real chance coming in the 36th minute when Callum Paterson linked well with Kenneth Zohore, and the former’s effort was parried away by Mansfield keeper Conrad Logan.

Youngster Rhys Healey then came close for the hosts four minutes later forcing another good save from Logan, who punched the ball away.

Mansfield came close on the brink of half time when CJ Hamilton headed over on the end of a good Paul Anderson cross.

Early in the second half, Cardiff’s defence looked rather shaky and the visitors came close six minutes in when defender Joe Bennett gifted the ball to Alex MacDonald and his long range strike went just wide.

Evans’ side then came close again in the 60th minute when Lee Angol got the ball in space and his shot was blocked by Sean Morrison.

Cardiff’s best chance came moments later when Healey cut in from the left and his effort was cleared off the line by Malvind Benning.

Mansfield then came close in the 79th minute when Anderson cut in on the right and his shot was blocked by Jazz Richards.

Desperate not to take the game to a replay, Cardiff looked for a winner in the late stages and Lee Tomlin’s well driven shot in the 90th minute was well saved by Logan.

Four minutes into added time, Mansfield defender Krystian Pearce nearly headed the ball into his own net following a free kick, but Logan managed to keep it out.

The result means the two sides will meet again at the One Call Stadium on the week commencing 15 January.

Cardiff City: Murphy, Richards, Morrison (c) (Damour 75), Manga, J Bennett, Paterson, Halford, Tomlin, Healey (Hoilett 77), Mendez-Laing, Zohore (Pilkington 80).

Subs not used: Feeney, Etheridge (GK), Bogle and M Harris.

Mansfield Town: Logan, Anderson, Pearce, R Bennett, Benning, Potter, Mellis (Atkinson 90+2), MacDonald, Hamilton, Hemmings (Spencer 45), Angol (Sterling-James 75).

Subs not used: Digby, Olejnik (GK), White, Butcher.

Attendance: 6,378


Shrewsbury through to FA Cup third round with Morecambe defeat

Shrewsbury away

Emirates FA Cup 2nd Round

Shrewsbury Town 2-0 Morecambe

Rodman 32 Whalley 37 pen

High-flying League 1 side Shrewsbury Town made it through to the third round of the FA Cup after a 2-0 win against League 2 strugglers Morecambe today (Saturday 2 December).

Alex Rodman put the hosts in front in the 32nd minute before they doubled their lead from the spot five minutes later through Shaun Whalley.

Shrewsbury, who sit 2nd in League 1, came into today’s game following two straight defeats while struggling Morecambe had lost just once in November.

The Shrimps made just two changes from the side that drew at Carlisle last week – Max Muller and Garry Thompson came in for Sam Lavelle and Kevin Ellison.

The home side started lively, and Rodman made a good run on the right before his effort was just kept out by the legs of Barry Roche two minutes in.

Chances were few and far between after that, and it was 20 minutes before Morecambe’s Alex Kenyon’s long-range effort went wide.

Just ten minutes later Shrewsbury were in front.

Whalley put in a good ball from the right-hand side after beating Old, and Rodman was able to bury it from close range.

Paul Hurst’s side were awarded a penalty shortly afterwards when Roche brought down Jon Nolan in the box.

Whalley stepped up and sent Roche the wrong way, extending his side’s lead.

Twenty minutes into the second half, substitute Louis Dodds had two chances in the space of a minute.

Dodds latched on the end of Whalley’s cross and his effort was parried and then his second effort went wide of the mark.

Dodds continued to impress for the hosts, and headed just over the bar in the 80th minute.

Morecambe almost set up an entertaining finish when substitute Callum Lang found himself one-on-one with keeper Craig MacGillivray but his 86th minute effort was kept out, meaning the Shrews ended the game worthy winners.

Shrewsbury Town: MacGillivray, Bolton, Beckles, Nsiala, Sadler, B Morris, Nolan, Whalley (C Morris 80), Godfrey (Dodds 59), Rodman (Gnahoua 70), Payne.

Booked: Payne

Subs not used: Riley, John-Lewis, Adams, Gregory.

Morecambe: Roche, Lund, Old, Muller, Brough (McGowan 45), Kenyon (Oliver 45), Fleming, Thompson, Wildig, Campbell (Lang 78), McGurk.

Booked: Roche and Wildig

Subs not used: Nizic, Winnard, Osborne, Rose.

Attendance: 3,184 (312 away)



Morecambe earn morale-boosting FA Cup win


Emirates FA Cup 1st Round

Morecambe 3-0 Hartlepool United

Ellison 4 Fleming 67 Loach 85 og

Morecambe booked their place in the second round of the FA Cup today with an outstanding win over non-league side Hartlepool United at the Globe Arena.

Kevin Ellison took the lead for the Shrimps early on, before Andy Fleming doubled their lead in the 67th minute.

A Scott Loach own-goal in the 85th minute put the result beyond doubt for Jim Bentley’s men.

Ahead of the game, Morecambe had only ever beaten Hartlepool – who were relegated from League 2 last season – once in their history.

The Shrimps had a lively start, looking really up for the game.

Adam McGurk came close just 24 seconds in, with a powerful effort forcing a brilliant save from Scott Loach.

Just four minutes later, Morecambe took the lead through Kevin Ellison.

The 38-year-old put the ball past Loach into the bottom-left corner coolly after Aaron Wildig’s shot was blocked.

Chances were few and far between for the rest of the half, with the only real chance coming when McGurk headed over on the end of a great ball from Aaron McGowan in the 32nd minute.

Hartlepool looked much more lively in the second half, and came incredibly close in the 62nd minute when Rhys Oates put in a great ball to Jonathan Franks but his effort was tipped over brilliantly by Barry Roche.

Morecambe doubled their lead against the run of play six minutes later, when Andy Fleming made a brilliant run on the counter-attack and placed the ball through Loach’s legs.

The result was put beyond doubt when in the 85th minute when substitute Adam Campbell’s effort for the hosts hit the post and the ball bounced off keeper Scott Loach’s back into the goal to put Jim Bentley’s side into the hat for the second round.

Next up for the Shrimps is Leicester City U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday.

Morecambe: Roche, McGowan, Muller, Old, Brough, Fleming, Kenyon (c), Thompson (Rose 87), Wildig (Campbell 70), Ellison, McGurk (Oliver 65).

Subs not used: Nizic, Conlan, Lavelle, Osborne.

Hartlepool United: Loach, Richardson, Donnelly, Laing, Adams, Featherstone, George (Munns 75), Woods (Rodney 60), Deverdics, Franks, Oates.

Booked: Donnelly and Featherstone.

Subs not used: Harrison, Catterick, Hawkins, Newton, Simpson.

Attendance: 2,004

Entertaining FA Cup Battle Ends In A Draw

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FA Cup 1st Round

Morecambe 1-1 Coventry City

Winnard 59         Sterry 72

Morecambe battled out an entertaining draw against League 1’s Coventry City in the first round of the FA Cup today. Dean Winnard took the lead for the Shrimps, slotting home at the far post from a corner whilst Jamie Sterry equalised for the away side thirteen minutes later.

The Shrimps had a very good start to the tie, with full back Aaron McGowan having a go from long range five minutes in-his accurate shot saved by Lee Burge to his right.

Two minutes later, Jim Bentley’s side came very close with Dean Winnard hitting the crossbar off the end of an excellent corner.

Morecambe continued to have promising chances throughout the first half, with Aaron Wildig shooting just over the bar in the 19th minute.

The only chance that the away side could come up with in the first half came through Kyel Reid, whose shot from long range went over the bar in the 35th minute.

Jim Bentley’s side came close to taking the lead on two occasions just before half time. In the 39th minute, Michael Rose’s powerful effort would’ve beaten Burge had it not been for Ruben Lameiras’ deflection taking it over the bar, and then moments later Tom Barkhuizen made a cracking run on the right-hand side with an equally impressive cross which met Aaron Wildig, whose close range effort was cleared off the line. Surprisingly it was goalless at half time.

Having made one change at half time, Coventry started the second half much stronger and looked likely to take the lead. Marvin Sordell had a shot which deflected off Whitmore before going wide six minutes in, and then there was a goal-line scramble- with the Shrimps clearing their lines eventually. Moments later however, the former England under-21 international was on the attack again- hitting the crossbar before substitute Jack McBean, who is on loan from LA Galaxy, shot wide on the rebound.

In the 58th minute, Morecambe were back on the attack and Aaron Wildig found himself in a good position and his shot was saved before Stockton’s rebound went wide.

Just moments later, the home side had a corner and the ball was flicked on by Cole Stockton towards Dean Winnard, who slot home at the far post for his first ever Morecambe goal.

Coventry were back on the attack five minutes later in response, and Andre Wright’s shot was saved by the legs of Barry Roche.

Paul Mullin came on as a substitute for the home side, and he made an instant impact on the game- battling for the ball with the keeper before being brought down- and some would argue that the keeper should’ve been sent off but the referee didn’t give anything.

Four minutes later, Coventry were back into the game. Jamie Sterry made a good run on the left-hand side and he cut inside to bury the ball in the bottom-right hand corner with the help of the post to put the Sky Blues back on level terms.

In the last ten minutes of the game, it was Morecambe who looked more likely to score- battling until the very end. Paul Mullin had a very ambitious attempt on goal in the 83rd minute with a shot from around forty yards out, going just wide of the goal.

Cole Stockton found himself through on goal in the 87th minute, thanks to an impressive ball by Michael Rose, but the keeper beat him to it.

Morecambe had a series of corners in the dying moments of the game, but they came to nothing and Coventry came very close to getting a winner. In the third minute of added time, they played some really good attacking play with Ryan Stevenson literally walking through the defence but fortunately James Jennings made a match saving block to secure the Shrimps an impressive draw- which was the least they deserved.

Up next for the Shrimps is more League 1 opposition in Bradford City on Wednesday, who they face in a decisive final group game in the Checkatrade Trophy before they travel to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday in the League.

Morecambe: Roche, McGowan, Winnard, Whitmore, Jennings, Murphy (c), Rose, Molyneux (Dunn 76), Wildig (Mullin 67), Barkhuizen, Stockton.

Booked: Whitmore and Murphy

Subs not used: Wakefield, Nizic, Conlan, Fleming, Turner

Coventry City: Burge, Kelly-Evans, Willis, Turnbull, Sterry, Rose, Stevenson, Sordell, Lameiras, Reid (McBean 46), Wright (Maycock 78).

Booked: Sterry and Lameiras

Subs not used: Jones, Ricketts, Tudgay, Charles-Cook, Harries

Attendance: 1,732



Dolly Blues’ FA Cup Run Ends With Defeat to Kidderminster

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FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round

Lancaster City 2-3 Kidderminster Harriers
Connerton 24       Brown 22,49
Akrigg 45+1        Waite 52

Lancaster’s impressive FA Cup run was ended today by a strong Kidderminster side at Giant Axe today. Andre Brown opened the scoring for the away side 22 minutes in, before Connerton closed the deficit with a swift equaliser. Billy Akrigg scored a stunning goal just in injury time to put the Dolly Blues in front at half time, however second-half goals from Andre Brown and Tyrell Waite meant that it was the Harriers who progressed to the fourth qualifying round.

The game started with much of the battle coming in the midfield, so there were little chances in the first twenty minutes.

Kidderminster’s first chance came nine minutes in, when Elton N’Gwatala hit a hopeful shot over the bar. Twelve minutes later, the National League North side were in front. Lancaster failed to properly defend a corner, and consequently Andre Brown was able to slot home from close range.

The away side’s lead didn’t last long at all however, as just moments later Billy Akrigg found himself through on goal and he gave the ball to Jordan Connerton- who made a good supporting run- and the in-form striker was able to slot home from at the far post to put Phil Brown’s side back on level terms.

Ten minutes later, the home side could’ve taken the lead as Jacob Gregory found an opening on the right-hand side, but unfortunately there was no one making a supporting run to get on the end of his cross.

Kidderminster then had a spell where they looked much more likely to score, with Croasdale shooting straight at the keeper. One of the away side’s better chances came when James McQuilkin found himself one-on-one with Mike Hale, and the keeper was there to make a great save- preventing the rebound by turning and pushing the ball out for a corner.

Hale was forced into a save from Gnahoua five minutes later, the shot coming from long range and the keeper making a good diving save down to his right.

Despite Kidderminster’s domination, it was the home side that went in front at half time. Billy Akrigg tried his luck from around forty yards, and he was rewarded as his shot hit the crossbar and went in- sending the home fans wild. 2-1 was the half time score.

In the second half the away side really took the fight to Lancaster, and they were back on level terms within three minutes. McQuilkin made a good run on the left-hand side, and Andre Brown was there to slot home from the cross- scoring his second of the game.

Five minutes later, the side two leagues above City took the lead again. Tyrell Waite made a good run on the right-hand side and cut inside to blast the ball into the bottom-left hand corner, the shot proving to be to good for Mike Hale.

Kidderminster were fully in control of the game for the vast majority of the second half, and they could’ve had a fourth when substitute Sam Austin found himself clean through on goal, but his shot hit the post.

The game became very physical following this, and Lancaster tried to push for an equaliser in the last ten minutes but they didn’t really trouble the opposition defence, featuring the experienced Keith Lowe.

Lancaster’s man of the match Billy Akrigg had a shot over the bar in the 89th minute, and in the second out of five added minutes at the end of the game City had a shout for a penalty. Croasdale looked to have brought Akrigg down in the box, but the ref didn’t see it that way and play carried on.

The impressive James McQuilkin should’ve scored from close range to seal the victory in the third minute of added time, but his shot was saved by the legs of Mike Hale. Nonetheless Kidderminster got the win, and progress to the next round.

Lancaster City: Hale, Davis, Mercer(c), Westwood, Clark, Gregory (Waters 72), Akrigg, Sumner, Crolla (Wills 57), Mayers (McKenna 61), Connerton.

Subs not used: Thornley, Anderson, Henry, Russell.

Booked: Clark

Kidderminster Harriers: Hornby, Williams, Lowe(c), Tunnicliffe, Francis-Angol, Croasdale, Waite (Carter 73), McQuilkin, N’Gwatala (Austin 65), Gnahoua, Brown (Dieseruvwe 78).

Subs not used: Stamibolziev, Thomas, Palmer.

Booked: Brown

Attendance: 570




Lancaster Cause Upset In Entertaining FA Cup Tie

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FA Cup 2nd Round Qualifying

Lancaster City 2-1 Darlington 1883
Gregory 48         Purewell 80
Connerton 76

Evo Stik Division 1 North side Lancaster City beat National League North side Darlington 1883 in a very exciting FA Cup tie at Giant Axe today.

Jacob Gregory opened the scoring for the home side three minutes into the second half, whilst he was backed up by a controversial Jordan Connerton goal and Darlington got one back through Amar Purewell in the 80th minute to set up an exciting finish.

The game started with end-to-end football, and the first real chance came six minutes in when Nathan Cartman had a shot over the bar for the visitors.

Five minutes later, the home side had their first chance of the game with Louis Mayers- whose header went just wide of the goal.

Following two notable chances in the first ten minutes, the game spiced up a bit with the away side being reduced to ten men. Captain Gary Brown was sent off for denying a goal scoring opportunity (last man) when he brought Jordan Connerton down just outside the box in the 15th minute.

Two minutes later Darlington could’ve had another sending off as Mark Beck went in late on Ricky Mercer, but luckily for the former Carlisle striker he only got a booking.

The consequential free kick for the home side was unsuccessful, and unfortunately for them they were reduced to ten men themselves. Similarly to Gary Brown for the away side, centre-half Jacob Davis was sent off for a last-man challenge in the 25th minute, so both sides were level with regards to numbers again.

Just moments later Darlington had their best chances of the game so far, as Mark Beck headed onto the crossbar and then he had another header that was tipped over the bar by Mike Hale.

This was followed by Lancaster’s biggest chance of the game so far, eight minutes on, when Louis Mayers forced Wollston into a save and Jordan Connerton’s rebound was cleared off the line.

Mayers almost took the lead again five minutes later, when Gregory put a great ball into the box but unfortunately the forward couldn’t connect with it from close range. Surprisingly, it was goalless at half time.

It wasn’t goalless for long in the second half however, as Jacob Gregory opened the scoring three minutes in with a great run on the right-hand side, smashing it past Newcastle loanee Paul Wollston into the top corner to put the underdogs in front.

Darlington had the majority of chances in the second half, and it was a backs to the wall job for the home side as they ended up playing with just one man up front (Jordan Connerton).

Mark Beck headed straight into the hands of Hale in the 57th and 69th minutes respectively, and Terence Galbraith also had an ambitious shot straight at the keeper in the 70th minute.

Jacob Gregory found himself one-on-one with the keeper again in the 73rd minute, and this time he was denied by Wollston in a chance he really should’ve put away.

Three minutes later Lancaster doubled their lead through Jordan Connerton. The striker got past both the defence and the keeper, who raced out of his box, and Connerton was able to put the ball into an open goal. The away fans were outraged as the former Kendal striker appeared to be offside, but the goal stood.

Moments later, the Darlington defence had a scare as the keeper’s clearance bounced back off a defender, and then a defender’s clearance deflected off Gregory and the ball only just went wide.

The away side did give themselves a chance to get something from the game, as substitute Amar Purewell headed home from close range in the 80th minute following a brilliant cross by Stephen Thompson on the right-hand side.

This set up a very tense and exciting final ten minutes, and the away side really took the game to Lancaster but Mike Hale was well on top of his game.

Purewell had another header denied by Hale to his right in the 84th minute, and a good ball from Thompson across the goal was somehow stopped by Hale five minutes later.

Mark Beck then headed over from a cross in the 90th minute, and there was four minutes of added time. Cartman even went for an overhead kick, but it was saved by Hale yet again. There was a series of corners in the dying moments of the game, and Galbraith’s header would’ve gone in had it not been for an excellent last ditch save by Mike Hale, who never looked like conceding a second goal.

Up next for Lancaster City, who progress to the third round of qualifying, is Ramsbottom at home in the league on Tuesday night.

Lancaster City: Hale, Hudson (Henry 83), Mercer(c), Davis, Clark, Willis, Crolla (McKenna 71), Gregory, Sumner, Mayers (Westwood 58), Connerton.

Subs not used: Anderson, Raybould, Russell.

Sent off: Davis

Darlington 1883: Wollston, Marrs (Purewell 66), Galbraith, Brown(c), Watson (Thompson 54), Falkingham, Portas, L.Scott, Hardy (Hunter 20), Beck, Cartman.

Subs not used: Robinson, Mitchell, Nowakowski, H.Scott

Booked: Beck

Sent off: Brown(c)

Attendance: 580