SPITTAL ROVERS 1
A late extra-time winner via the head of Wooler’s Ross Souter separated two evenly-matched sides in this North Northumberland League Runciman Cup tie, sending the hosts through to the semi-finals, much to the delight of a jubilant home support.
As it was played out, the fiercely-contested cup tie endured wind, sleet, snow and sushine, the slick surface inviting many a robust challenge. It wasn’t long before the cards were out, Spittal’s Jamie Punton setting the tone with a reckless challenge on a former team-mate to enter the referee’s notebook.
Quarter of an hour in, Wooler centre-half Souter took full advantage of a huge space at the front post, nipping in front of Baxendale on the byline to somehow deflect the ball, driven towards him along the deck, past the man on the post for the opener.
Spittal replied with Adam Turner’s driven shot rattling the crossbar, only to be hooked clear. Punton then met a header which was somehow kept out by some last-ditch Wooler defending.
Pressure after the interval saw the Seasiders threaten more.
Coe shot wide after good link-up play with debutant Andrew Patterson before Punton was upended in the box.
He dusted himself down to take the spot kick, which was initially saved, only for the midfielder to react first, sliding in to poke home the rebound in an almighty pile-up a yard out.
The winner almost came in normal time for Wooler from the right boot of Strangeways near the end, but his well-hit set piece was clawed away by Rob Hodgson in the Spittal goal with extra time looming.
Extra time brought little in the way of opportunities for Rovers, with Hodgson by far the busier of the two goal keepers.
The pace of Jeffrey then hurt Spittal with an impressive 40-yard run.
As the resulting corner was swung in, the ball was headed into the ground by Souter, and looped over both Hodgson and Robbie Skelly on the line into the top corner.
Fixtures for Saturday are:
NFA Minor Cup quarter-final (1.30pm): Alnmouth United v Red Row Welfare.
Division 1 (2pm): Breakers Bedlington v Belford; North Sunderland v Alnwick Town Reserves; Rothbury v Amble St Cuthbert.
Division 2: Craster Rovers v Springhill; Alnmouth v Ashington Central; Spittal Rovers v Ashington West End; Tweedmouth Harrow v Wooler; Embleton WR v Highfields United.