Crook Town 1-1 Ryhope CW (Ryhope win 4-2 on penalties): Ryhope win the Durham Challenge Cup

Image Credit: Kyle Ritchie

Colliery Welfare won the Durham Challenge Cup after a dominant display and penalty shootout heroics from James Winter.

Crook took the lead through Craig Moody in the 19th minute however the Wearside team quickly equalised as Robbie Bird drew his team level on the half hour mark.

After the game finished a draw the match went straight to penalties with Bird, Danni Lay, Denver Morris and Karl Southern all converting from the spot.

Gary Pearson made four changes to the side that drew against Guisborough Town last time out as defender Thomas Price came in to replace Ben Riding who was ineligible to play in the final.

Also making changes Crook’s manager Jamie Tunstall made five changes to his side after they were beaten 2-0 to Bishop Auckland in their final league game of the season.

Both teams headed into the game in mixed form with Ryhope winning three of their last five and Crook only having won one in five, however both teams record in the cup this season meant we were in for a good match.

Ryhope started the game the brighter of the two sides with Jon Weirs seeing his close-range header go wide of the post in the sixth minute.

Crook started to come back into the game as chances fell to Phillip Caley and Mason Hurworth however their attempts were saved and blocked respectively.

Building upon that pressure it was Crook who broke the deadlock in the 19th minute as Dale Elgie’s header from the corner found Moody on the edge of the box who sent a powerful volley into the bottom right corner of the Ryhope goal.

Colliery Welfare looked for a response as top scorer James Ellis saw his deflected effort fly over the bar.

Ellis then took the resulting corner which was knocked down by captain Christopher Trewick and then poked into the roof of the net by Bird to get Ryhope right back into the game on the half hour mark.

Ryhope looked to build on their goal as they continued to apply the pressure, in the 43rd minute, after an excellent counter attacking move Paul Braithwaite took on the shot on the edge of the box however, he couldn’t get his effort on target.

On the stroke of half time Crook were nearly gifted a goal as a defensive mix-up allowed Caley through one on one with Winter in goal, but an outstanding challenge from Danni Lay in the box ensured that the sides went in at half time level.

Image Credit: Kyle Ritchie

As they did in the first half Ryhope started the half well, causing the Crook defence problems.

On 70 minutes Weirs came close as his curling effort went narrowly wide of the post with Braithwaite also seeing an effort go over the bar minutes later.

Defender Davey Gordon almost got the winner on 85 minutes in the most spectacular fashion, as his in-swinging corner almost curled straight into the back of the net only to be denied by the cross bar.

Crook’s only real attack of the second half, fell to goal scorer Moody however his effort flew high and wide over the Ryhope goal meaning the game would be decided on penalties.

Ryhope got off to the best start possible in the penalty shootout as Winter guessed correctly to deny Crook from taking the lead.

Goal scorer Bird stepped up first for Ryhope easily converting to give Colliery Welfare a 1-0 advantage.

Crook levelled the score before defender Lay fired an excellent penalty into the top right corner to reinstate his sides lead.

Winter then pulled off another excellent save with defender Morris taking full advantage to give Ryhope a 3-1 lead.

Needing to score, Crook were able to bring the score back to 3-2 however substitute Southern was able to win it for Ryhope with a superb penalty into the top right corner leaving Ronan Makepeace no chance.

Ryhope will be hoping to add to their silverware as they take on Newcastle Benfield on Saturday in the semi-finals of the League Cup with Ashington awaiting in the final.