HEBBURN TOWN 2-2 VAUXHALL MOTORS (HEBBURN WIN 5-3 ON PENALTIES)
Hebburn Town hero Dan Groves rescued the Hornets, sending the match to penalties in a dramatic late finish in the FA Vase third round.
The home side were ahead after 16 minutes thanks to Michael McKeown’s driven effort. Vauxhall eventually found an equaliser in the 75th minute, through Haydn Cooper.
Michael Burkley thought he had scored the winner in the 90th minute, but the Hornets found an equaliser three minutes later. They took the game to penalties, where they were faultless, winning 5-3.
This was the battle of two titans; Hebburn sat top of the Northern League Division 1, whilst Vauxhall Motors, unbeaten, were leading the North West Counties League.
Hebburn broke the deadlock in the 16th minute. Purewal had held the ball up well in the box before McKeown pounced on the loose ball to crash home to make it 1-0.
Vauxhall’s best chance of the half came in the 39th minute. New signing Stephen Wainwright was involved, returning to the club after first signing for the Motors in 2012. He delivered a great cross to Ben Holmes whose header was glanced wide.
A minute later Hebburn had their best chance to extend their lead. They had begun to sit back, absorb Vauxhall’s pressure and then counter.
McKeown broke with the ball, a great run driving through the heart of the midfield, before releasing Purewal on the left. But the attacker could only fire his effort at Crump.
Another great chance for the home side in the 71st minute. Again McKeown was involved as Hebburn broke. This time he chose Tom Potter on the right-hand side, who cut inside before firing wide to the left.
In the 75th minute Hebburn could not hold on to their lead. Cooper was on hand to tap in a low cross fired across the home side’s box to equalise.
Danny Carson had to clear off the line in the 81st minute. Vauxhall substitute Forbes had forced Foden into a save but the ball still needed clearing.
90 minutes on the clock, Vauxhall substitute Michael Burkley danced past two Hebburn defenders before blasting a shot into the Hebburn net, Foden with no chance.
Four minutes of added time were allowed, and the Hornets scored a dramatic equaliser in the 93rd minute. As they poured bodies forward, Groves sent in a cross on the right-hand side and it somehow found its way into the bottom left of the goal.
The drama was still not over with Vauxhall’s midfield maestro Glenn Rule sent off for an off-the-ball challenge just before the final whistle.
McKeown stepped up first for Hebburn to make it 1-0 in the shootout, a calm penalty into the bottom left in what was a perfect display by the Hornets. Storey, Potter and Martin all scored for the home side.
Cross stepped up for the away side, with the shoot-out at 4-3 to Hebburn. But his effort was saved by Foden to the delight of the crowd.
Hebburn’s fifth penalty taker was striker Armstrong. He steeled himself before burying his effort past Crump to make it 5-3.
Foden, Groves, Lough, Storey ©, Carson, Potter, McKeown, Armstrong, Richardson (Spence, 62), Purewal (Martin, 76), Mullen. Unused subs: Donaghy, Coulson, Taylor, Angelos.
Crump, Wainwright, Drummond (Burkley, 71), Scarasbrick, Mitchell, Heath, Robson (Cross, 90), Rule, Smith (Forbes, 76), Cooper, Holmes. Unused subs: Nugent, Hamm, Hampson.