Heaton Stannington stunned twelve-time Techflow Senior Cup winners Whitley Bay last night– coming out 4-3 winners at Grounsell Park in front of their biggest crowd so far this season.
Despite the final score line Whitley Bay asserted their dominance in the first few minutes, going ahead through Adrei Ardelean – the former Team Northumbria man acrobatically finishing past Dan Regan.
But the Stan hit back, on-loan North Shields forward Connor Campbell scoring following a contentious penalty decision where Lewis Burns was deemed to have been tripped over inside the area.
After the half time break Campbell struck a second goal for the home side before Burns added a third on 56 minutes.
The Seahorses pushed for a comeback in the latter stages, Stephen Ramsey reducing the gap to a single goal.
But Heaton scored again on 73 minutes – Andy Robertson tapping in at the back post following a low drive across goal.
A brilliant solo goal from substitute Kieran Brannen gave Whitley Bay a glimmer of hope going to final minutes, but the damage was already done and Heaton saw the game out to take the win.
“It was well deserved without a shadow of a doubt, it could have finished 10-3 and we were the best team from minute one until the last minute,” said Heaton coach Richie Mitchell.
“I thought [our first goal] was a definite penalty, he got the ball after he went through his foot so I can absolutely see why the referee has given it.
“I think both keepers made some decent saves, but Dan [Regan] has been fantastic for us since he came in the summer and he’s a big part of why we have now won nine games on the bounce.”
The Stan now look forward to a mouth-watering home tie in the next round against Morpeth Town, and assistant manager Mitchell has high hopes against the Evostik Northern Premier side.
He added: “Morpeth will be a very difficult game. They are a top team and we are massive underdogs, but we will go into it full of confidence playing the way we are at the minute.
“Our defence will be busy, but we expect to be. However, I think we have players on our team who can cause them issues in the final third.”
Elsewhere in the first round, it was good news for fellow Northern League D2 sides, West Allotment Celtic and Bedlington Terriers. Terriers thrashed Alnwick Town 8-0 at Welfare Park whilst Celtic dispatched of Ashington 5-1 - courtesy of goals from Hayton, Leech, Errington, Mendes-Correia and Parkinson.
All three teams are now only two wins away from St James’ Park as they enter the quarter-final, which was drawn last month on BBC Newcastle.
Ties have now been confirmed as: Heaton Stannington v Morpeth Town, Newcastle Benfield v North Shields, Newcastle United U23 v Blyth Spartans and West Allotment Celtic v Bedlington Terriers.
All games will be played on or before Saturday 26 January 2019.