Match Report 5 March 2017

Hardwick Social Club entertained Hartlepool Lion Hillcarter in front of a large Sunday morning crowd in the semi-final of the Durham County Sunday Cup.  Hardwick Social Club almost took the lead in the first minute as Sonni Coleman was released down the left and he cut in but saw hi shot saved by the keeper and scrambled away for a corner.  The Lion opened the scoring on 26 minutes with a breakaway as the Hardwick defence appealed for offside and the forward drilled the ball home.  Hardwick took the game to the Lion who looked to counter attack but their defence remained solid.  On 40 minutes Nathan Mulligan hit the bar with a 25 yard free kick and two minutes later Jamie Owens hit the post with a header from a corner and the Lion held out to half time with their 1-0 lead.  However Hardwick were quick out of the blocks in the second half as within two minutes they level when Jamie Owens broke down the left wing and cross into the box where Nathan Mulligan headed home.  The game changed when a Lion player was dismissed for a bad tackle on Jamie Owens after only four minutes.  Hardwick pressed forward as the Lion defended to keep them out but on 73 minutes Adam Nicholson broke out of defence and let fly from 25 yards to score what was the winning goal.  In the 85th minute Chris Stockton hit the bar following a Jamie Owens cross and in added time Hardwick Social Club were reduced to ten men when Steven Roberts was dismissed for two yellow cards.  The Lion pressed hard in the last couple of minutes to snatch an equaliser but Hardwick held out and book a place in the final for the fourth consecutive year.

In the North Riding Sunday Challenge cup semi-final the league had three teams looking for a place in the final, Thornaby Aerodrome Club entertained JFC United but switched the game to their opponents ground as there ground was unfit.  The teams played a goalless draw over the 90 minutes so it went to penalties and it was Thornaby Aerodrome Club who triumphed 4-3 to book a place in the final.  The other semi-final saw Thornaby Roundel away to Trafalgar from Scarborough but suffered a heavy defeat going down 7-0.

In the John Jackson Memorial Trophy Semi-Final Norton George & Dragon entertained Billingham The White House and the game was a tight affair as both teams slugged it out cancelling each other out as they fought for the important first goal.  Five minutes from time Philip Horsman headed the George in front.  Billingham The White House were battling Norton George & Dragon and the clock and got their reward on 95thminute with almost the last kick when Chris Atkinson forced a deserved equaliser.  In extra time Whitehouse took the lead on 100 minutes through substitute Matty Osmond who headed home only for the George to equalise through Jake Petitjean with time running out to take the game to penalties.  The George missed their first one when Chris Davidson saving to his right.  The next five penalties were scored with Whitehouse 3-2 ahead, then the George scored to level up but the Whitehouse missed the next penalty.  Then the George hit the bar with next penalty and Billingham The White House scored the next penalty to take the game 4-3.

In the Stephen Wells Memorial Trophy third round tie second division Nifco UK switched their tie to first division Stockton Five Alls after their ground was declared unfit.  This turned out to be a feisty game with both teams having a player sent off and extra time required.  The match ended all square after 120 minutes 3-3, John Williams scored twice and Daniel Finn once for Nifco and for Stockton Five Alls goals coming from Chris Wright, Jamie Roberts and Glen Westoby.  Nifco won the penalty shoot-out 4-3 to progress to the semi-final.

In the Ian Gorman Memorial Trophy third round first division Billingham The Kings were at home to Premier division Thornaby Oddfellows but there was to be no upset here as Thornaby Oddfellows ran out 6-0 winners and book a semi-final spot.  The goals came from Benjamin Kerry who scored twice plus a goal each from Adam Todd, Newton Boyce, Arron Brookbanks and Andrew Dinsdale.

Only one league game took place in Division One when Fairfield Sports & Social Club entertained Doctor McGonicles but it was the visitors who came out on top 2-0 thanks to goals from Daniel McLay and Chrissy Skipper.

In Division Two three league games were possible leaders South Bank were at home to Marton Rovers and ran out 9-1 winners with hat-tricks from Anthony Barnes and Graeme Watson plus two goals from Shafiq Asif and one from Andrew Truscott, Andrew Townsend scored a consolation for Marton Rovers.  Second placed PH FC Elmtree kept up the pressure on South Bank with a 5-0 win against Riverside, the game being switched to Tilery.  Two goals from top scorer John James plus a goal each from Martyn Coles, Rhys Greenwood and Dan McKenna set up the latest win.  Norton Unicorn were at home to RSD and ran out 6-2 winners thanks to a hat-trick from Adam Walton, two goals for Lewis Powell and one from Chris Bousefield, for RSD Reyadh Abbas scored both the goals.