Whickham’s hopes of winning the Durham Challenge Cup were brought to an end, after a 3-0 away defeat to Spennymoor Town on Tuesday evening.
Frank Mulhern scored a brace with his first coming after only two minutes. Luke Spokes rounded off the scoring to put the home team in the hat for the next round.
Spennymoor fielded a number of first team players, as well as a mixture of youth for their tie against a well-structured and organised Whickham side.
Whickham were without a number of key first team players for the match. Scott Jasper, Kaleb Young, Callum Elliott and Dom Agnew all being cup tied, while striker Jack Robson was missing through injury.
Spennymoor started the better of the two teams and their quality showed from the first few minutes. Jude Oyibo latched onto a ball over the top before squaring for Mulhern to score his first of the evening.
The visitors almost got back on level terms after 20 minutes, winger Nathan Greenwood setting striker Zak Atkinson up for a tap in, if it wasn’t for a last-ditch tackle by the Spennymoor defender.
Whickham goalkeeper James Anderson was kept busy all evening, the Lang Jacks number one pulled off a great save to deny Stephen Thompson’s deflected effort.
Jack Moody a minute later produced a moment of brilliance, the defender managed to somehow get his outstretched left foot to the ball in time to clear off the line.
Anderson was back among the action a minute before the interval, the goalkeeper’s quick reflexes denying Mulhern a first half brace.
The Lang Jacks came out fighting in the second half, the away team matched their opponents for long periods of the game.
Young midfielder Declan Bisset found gaps in the Spennymoor defence throughout the second half, but the away team did not capitalise on their chances.
Anderson was again alert to produce a brilliant double save on the hour. The Whickham goalkeeper was down quickly to stop Spennymoor’s first effort, before being called into a full stretch save seconds later.
The home team grabbed their second after 79 minutes, Spokes finding Anderson’s bottom corner to give the home team a two-goal cushion.
The match was all but over on 82 minutes, Mulhern got onto the end of some neat build up play to score his second of the night and send Spennymoor into the next round.
The Whickham players were disappointed after the match, but assistant-manager Simon Moody had lots of positives to take away from the game.
He said: “We as coaching staff are really pleased with the effort and commitment. I thought we played well, but the little bit of extra quality they had in the final third made a difference.
“I was pleased with the fact, once we conceded the early goal we stuck in and battled. We are hard to break down and we stuck at it.”
Man of the Match, James Anderson was pleased with his side display he added: “We always knew it was going to be a hard game to get a result, but I thought we put a shift in and played well.
“They are a few leagues above us, they might not have had their strongest team out, but they still had a really strong team.
“I feel like we created loads of chances and pressed their defence, putting them under pressure but we couldn’t find the end product.”
Whickham team: Anderson, Howard, Galbraith, Moody, Dunn (Newton 67’), Burrell, Bisset, Peareth ©, Greenwood, S. Robson, Atkinson
Subs not used: Bolton, Martin, Hansen, Priest.