It was a poor performance from the Colliers who were on top for much of the game despite not being at their best.
Ryan Cummings gave Willington the lead when his cross evaded Kyle Donaldson to find the far corner on 12 minutes and Chris Storey doubled the West Durham outfit’s lead three minutes into the second half when the assistant referee deemed his header to have crossed the line.
Aidan Goodey pulled one back from a direct corner but it wasn’t enough as Willington claimed the three points in an afternoon to forget for the Green Army.
Easington were without key players such as Reece Kenney, Lewis Turnbull and Brennan Ball but Goodey came back into the side following a hamstring injury.
The visitors started well and could have taken the lead in the 10th minute when David Paul’s clever flick played in Jack Pounder, but his effort bounced back off the post.
And the hosts would make Easington pay. Cummings, a former Coxhoe Athletic man, sent a deep cross into the penalty area which evaded the committed Donaldson and dropped into the far corner. It was a shock lead for the hosts and the Colliers were rattled.
The woodwork came to the rescue of Willington once again a minute later when Goodey’s free-kick curled towards the far top corner but clipped the inside of the post before coming across the line where it was cleared.
Despite being behind, Easington were the better side but frustration was building into their game, and Willington only managed their first real chance in the 26th minute when Anthony Lee’s header forced a decent save from Donaldson.
Pounder was played in for Easington on the half hour mark but the assistant referee deemed the former Durham City man offside in what was a tight call.
Chances weren’t as frequent as the first half came to an end as Willington started to look secure on the ball. The half simply wasn’t good enough from the Colliers and a huge response would be needed to turn the game around.
However, it wasn’t to be as Willington doubled their lead only three minutes into the second half. Storey’s header was cleared underneath the crossbar and a late call from the assistant referee signalled that the ball had crossed the line. After a lengthy discussion with the referee, the goal was given.
Two goals behind, the Green Army’s chances were looking slim. There was almost hope though as Paul bundled the ball home in the 53rd minute. But, in a decision that sparked controversy, the referee ruled it out for an apparent foul on the goalkeeper.
Shouts for a penalty when the ball struck a hand in the Willington penalty area were then turned down and, not long later, Paul turned on the edge of the penalty area but his shot couldn’t trouble William Preston.
Despite it not looking their day, there was hope for Easington when Goodey halved the deficit 10 minutes from time. Substitute Bryan Norton won a corner which Goodey whipped into the penalty area and his direct free-kick picked out the far corner.
Willington were pinned back into their own half for the final 10 minutes – Dylan Elliott went close while Paul had one blocked on the line. Goodey’s free-kick in added time forced a fine save from Preston and a Norton header clipped the post in the dying stages.
However, there was no breakthrough and Willington claimed the points in an afternoon to forget for Easington.
Full-time: Willington 2-1 Easington Colliery
Willington: Preston, Cummings, Storey, White, Lazonby (c), Lowes (Warnett, 57′), Seymour, Comby, Lee Brown, 63′), Ellis (Kent, 72′), Brown
Unused subs: Sawyer, Moss
Easington Colliery: Donaldson, Croft, Nesbitt (Freeman, 81′), Pearson (c), Goodey, Elliott, Adamson (Norton, 61′), Page, Paul, Pounder (Bulmer, 68′), Jones
Unused subs: Anderson, Graydon