It was an all-round favourable performance in the Emirates FA Cup for Northumberland affiliates, as Whitley Bay progressed to the Second Round Qualifying, with both Morpeth Town and Newcastle Benfield rescuing draws in their respective ties to set up replays on Tuesday night.
Whitley Bay 1-0 Whitby Town
Whitley Bay thrived under a bumper crowd of 680 at Hillheads Park as they snatched a 1-0 victory against Whitby Town – a side playing two divisions above The Seahorses.
The tie was dragged out over 75 minutes before Whitby were granted a penalty following a challenge on Junior Mondal inside the area. Up stepped Dale Hopson, who failed to convert his penalty – Tom Flynn diving to his right to deny the former Blyth Spartans playmaker.
Shortly afterwards the game was spun on its head when Whitby defender Jassem Sukar was sent off for a second bookable offence, leaving The Seasiders with ten men and 15 minutes to play.
It wasn’t until the 90th minute that Peter Glen-Ravenhill found the head of Jack Foalle in the box – the striker making no mistake to score his 12th goal of the season and secure The FA's £6000 winning prize for his team.
Ashton Athletic 1-1 Morpeth Town
Morpeth were arguably considered as favourites when travelling to North West Counties side Ashton Athletic, but only managed to scramble a draw in Greater Manchester – setting up a replay at Craik Park.
The first goal came in favour of the home side, George Hassell heading in The Yellow’s ninth FA Cup goal of the season just after half time.
And it looked as though The Highwaymen were down and out as the clock ran through to the final minutes. However, Jordan Fry had other ideas as he burst into the box and was awarded a penalty along with a second yellow for Ashton defender Luke Holden.
Joe Walton blasted the ball into the back of the net from the spot kick, to the delight of the travelling support, before the whistle blew after two minutes of added time – the game finishing a goal apiece at Brocstedes Park.
The replay at Craik Park will take place on Tuesday 11th September (19:45 K.O).
Newcastle Benfield 1-1 Workington
Newcastle Benfield were one of the lowest ranked teams in the competition when they were knocked out in last year’s FA Cup Third Round Qualifying, and they certainly have every chance of replicating their performance this season as they earned a second leg against NPL club Workington.
Former Football League player Niall Cowperthwaite broke the deadlock for the Cumberland-based side after two blocked shots provided the wing back with an easy tap-in early during the second half.
But a double substitution later on seemed to change the game for The Lions and Dale Pearson pounced to score the equaliser when he met a Paul Brayson cross on 77 minutes.
The game ended in a 1-1 stalemate and Benfield will now travel to Borough Park (Workington) to meet their opponents in the second-leg of the tie.
All three Northumberland clubs go into the hat for the Emirates FA Cup Second Round Qualifying draw on Monday – with the next round taking place on the weekend of Saturday 22nd September 2018.