Match Reports for Week Ending 9th January 2010

After an unwanted mid-season break due to the freak weather, it was a relief for the league programme to resume as well as a few eagerly anticipated Durham Minor Cup ties.
Houghton Town B progressed to the quarter finals of the Durham Minor Cup after an outstanding 7-4 win against Bishop Auckland Heighington Arms.

Town started the stronger and should have been in front in the first minute when Steele shot straight at the keeper following good work by Stokoe and Lax, further chances were missed by Smith and Hope before top scorer Dean Smith scored a cracking header from a pinpoint cross by Kyle Lax.

The Town midfield were dominating and Stokoe went close with a dipping volley before Smith got his second with a well taken goal from a Hope cross. Hope was wreaking havoc down the right. On 30 minutes, the visitors pulled a goal back as their forward pounced on a defensive mix up and scored after beating 5 players. The B-Team responded well and 5 minutes later a superb long ball by Agnew was chased by Dean Smith and he neatly chipped the keeper for his hat-trick and a 3-1 half time score.
On 50 minutes Steele was upended by the visitors keeper and picked himself up to smash home the resulting penalty to make it 4-1. This looked like game over, but the home side hit the self-destruct button and within a period of 15 minutes they conceded 3 soft goals and the tie was level at 4-4.

The visitors nearly went ahead but were denied by a fantastic double save from Nev Boardman. This seemed to inspire Town and it was Phil Dorian who volleyed Town back in front. Lee Bogan’s side made the game safe with 2 quick goals in stoppage time, Phil Dorian with his second and Kyle Lax who thumped in a superb free-kick.

Aquatic Sports failed to make it through after they were routed 5-0 by an impressive Winlaton Vulcan Inn.

Colonel Prior produced a near perfect performance as they too made it through to the quarter finals as they gave Jolly Potters a 5-1 thumping. game was in store. Prior manager, Sanderson had the luxury of 19 players to chose from and it was a welcome headache.

The game kicked off with both teams finding it hard to break each other down, Potters had their only chance of the half when Dave Keithley went through only for Adey to pull of a great save. Both teams battled through the 1st half with prior only having the odd half chance.

The second half was all about the Prior as they produced a superb display of defensive and attacking football, goals from keeper Adey with a well taken penalty, Dale Spence and a cracking hattrick from star man Andy Smith made sure the Prior had their name in the hat for the quarter final draw.

The League’s other representative in the Minor Cup, Blue House, exited at the hands of Evenwood White Swan 4-1.

In the First Division,Park View were looking to start the year with a win, but found it tough as they succumbed to a 4-2 defeat against the division’s form team Arms City Coachworks. The game started with the View seeing the majority of play and having the best chances. Both Todd and Yip both going close. The Arms did break forward on a few occasions only for their attacks to be thwarted by a solid View back four as the first half ended goalless.

Arms started the second period with a bit more bite but again failing to find the target, and their mis-firing was to cost them dearly as the View broke the deadlock as Alex Yip scored after pouncing on a mistake from the visitor’s keeper. It didn’t take long for the Arms to equalise as Jake Baker rose highest to head in from a free-kick. View’s lack of fitness and too much turkey began to show and this led to the floodgates opening as the Arms scored 3 goals and threatened to run riot.

Park View did pull it together as they managed to pull back a late consolation, Gary Todd scoring a cooly taken penalty.

Division leaders Washington Cricket Club kept their slender lead at the top after they edged a tense derby 3-2 against Usworth.

As per usual, the Cricketers were slow out of the starting blocks as they found themselves 0-1 down after 10 minutes. A weak headed back pass was pounced upon by an Usworth forward who scored at the second attempt.

The game was now being played at a high tempo as both teams strived to get the upper hand, and against the run of play the Cricketers equalised as David Fittes lobbed the ball into the net after good work from David Laidler. More chances were spurned by both sides as the half ended all square.

The second half was abit sloppy as both sides looked for inspiration, then out of the blue, Usworth took the lead when a 25 yard free kick was tipped onto the bar but luckily an Usworth forward was on hand to tap the ball home.

The Cricketers responded in good fashion as they created chance after chance but wayward finishing didn’t help them. They got their deserved equaliser as a corner was whipped in and was met by Stephen Cuthbertson who finished with aplomb. With their tails now up, Cricketers were now searching for the winner and it soon came after a mazy run from Stephen Cuthbertson was finished off by Anthony Dixon who slotted home from 6 yards.

The Cove are another team who have improved of late, but they were to be no match for the Colliery Tavern, the Southwick side were ruthless as they dished out a 16-0 beating.

Carl ‘Chimney’ Chapman led the rout as he notched four goals, Anthony Stokell, Michael Bulmer, and star man Darren Straughan weighed in with well taken hat-tricks and further goals from Ben Ward, Shaun McGregor andDanny Harding completed an easy win.

The Saltgrass were looking to improve on their 1st half of the season and they did it in style as they won 8-4 against the Times Inn.

John Hope was the main man for the Deptford side as he banged in 5 goals and was backed with further strikes from John Higham and a brace from Martin Adams. The Times Inn replied with goals from Michael Curry and an excellent hat-trick from Neil McNulty.

New team East Durham Spartans have a lot of catching up to do and were involved in an epic 13 goal thriller as they were defeated by The Cambridge Hotel 7-6.

Goals from the prolific Paul Stoker who hit a well taken hat-trick, Liam Richardson (2), Anthony Powell and Craig McShane made sure The Cambridge came away with the 3 points.
In the only Premier Division game, it was a battle of the basement boys as Dawdon CW and Hendon Grange Global Gym. It certainly looks like it could be relegation for the Musclemen as Dawdon grabbed 3 much needed points with a 3-2 win. Goals from James Lowery, Matthew Mustard and new signing Steven Gale saw the Colliers home.