Last gasp winner ends Lang Jacks hopes of silverware
Whickham were knocked out of the First Division Cup after defeat to West Auckland Town at the First Mortgage Glebe on Tuesday evening.
The home team lost 3-2 in an eventful game, which also saw two questionable red cards awarded to Jamie Dunn and Gary Brown.
Kyle Fryatt opened the scoring just after the midway point in the first half, the visitors doubled their lead in the second half through Jordan Blinco.
Whickham pulled one back through Scott Robson before levelling the scores with a well taken goal by Nathan Greenwood.
The home team produced several clear-cut chances to win the game, but it was Blinco’s second goal that proved to be the decisive goal to send West Auckland into the Quarter Finals.
Whickham got off to the worst possible start when left back Jamie Dunn was shown a straight red card for dissent.
The defender was sent off after just eleven minutes, however the visitors should have been down to ten men themselves shortly before Dunn’s red card.
Auckland defender Gary Brown elbowed Scott Robson inside the first few minutes, the striker was required to leave the field to clear up his bleeding nose.
Whickham played with confidence and carved open a couple of opportunities in the first half.
Greenwood’s shot from the left-hand side was gathered by Guthrie between the Auckland posts.
Zak Atkinson also had an attempt from a tight angle on the left-hand side, the ball creeping just past Guthrie’s far post.
Callum Elliott was next to have a go, the defender made an advancing run, but his shot was comfortably saved by Guthrie.
Whickham looked comfortable even with ten men, but a slight lapse in concentration allowed Fryatt to score from just inside the box.
The visitors almost doubled their lead just before the break, forcing Whickham goalkeeper Chris Bannon into a full stretch save to deny the away team.
The second half started, and it wasn’t long before the league’s top goalscorer got his name on the scoresheet, Blinco doubling Auckland’s lead from close range.
The Lang Jacks pulled one back through Scott Robson on 66 minutes, the striker latching onto Kaleb Young’s brilliant ball over the top to fire low and hard past Guthrie.
The game started to turn in Whickham favour halfway through the second half, the referee handed Gary Brown a straight red card for a mistimed tackle on Scott Robson.
Whickham pushed for an equaliser and were rewarded for their efforts when Greenwood collected a ball over the top to slot coolly past Guthrie.
The Lang Jacks pressed for a winner coming close on several occasions without any joy.
As Whickham pushed forward, Auckland found space down the right-hand side, providing Blinco with the easiest of chances to tap home the winning goal with only one minute left on the clock.
Whickham manager Tony Fawcett was proud of his team’s effort. He said: “It’s mixed emotions, I’m frustrated with going down to ten men.
“Having said that they should have been down to ten men after five minutes with the elbow on Scotty. (Robson)
“I’m immensely proud with the way they have reacted to it, I feel for them they have put everything on the line again.
“They were nearly across the line; they clawed their way back into the game and we looked the stronger team near the end.
“We were probing, and we hit the post, on another day we win that game. I don’t think they deserved to lose today.”
Whickham Team: Bannon, Elliott, Howard, Burrell, Agnew (Jack Robson 59’), Dunn, Peareth ©, Young, Atkinson, Scott Robson, Greenwood.
Subs not used: Below, Bisset, Jasper.
Goals: S. Robson 62’, Greenwood 70’.
Man of the Match: Nathan Greenwood.