Ryhope CW crashed out of the Durham Challenge Cup with a 3-1 away defeat at the hands of Northern League Division Two side Chester-le-Street.

Colliery Welfare headed to Moor Park as favourites coming up against a team in the division below, but an Alex White hat-trick sent Chester-le-Street into the next round.

White put the Cestrians ahead in the 21st minute, James Ellis responded for Ryhope five minutes before half-time. White then got the winner in the 89th minute before completing his hat-trick to ensure the victory in added time.

The first chance of the game fell to Ryhope’s  Josh Holme-Jackson in the fifth minute, he found space on the edge of the box and let fly a shot that flashed wide of the left post.

Chester-le-Street responded with their first chance of the game five minutes later, Alex White and Dan McGuire exchanged passes, the latter then hit a shot into the side netting from inside box.

Welfare then looked to get onto the front foot having two good chances in  quick succession. In the 16th minute Kyle Davis’ shot from a tight angle inside the box forced a save from Jack Wilson, then in the 18th minute Matty Weirs smashed a fierce shot against the bar from outside the box.

However, a few minutes later the Cestrians got the breakthrough from a spectacular free-kick. From just right of the centre, Alex White curled the ball into the left corner of the goal.

The game fell flat for a while after the goal, Ryhope having more of the ball but rushing their play. The next real opening didn’t come until the 36th minute, David Gordon finding Matty Weirs inside the box with a ball from the left, there were plenty of bodies back for the Cestrians but the Ryhope attacker found space to shoot and fired just wide.

Ryhope then got their equaliser in the 40th minute, Weirs found James Ellis with a through ball, the winger had plenty of time and space, remaining composed to slot home past Wilson.

The first chance of the second-half went to Chester-le-Street, substitute Kenny Ball with a header from a free-kick which flew over Jonny Ball’s goal.

Colliery Welfare’s Nathaniel Skidmore had an effort from distance fly just wide in the 51st minute.

For much of the second-half it looked like this game would have to be settled with a penalty shootout, neither team threatening the opposition’s goal. Much like the first-half, Ryhope were seeing more of the ball and getting it into final third, but struggled to create opportunities with Chester-le-Street committing a lot of bodies back to defend.

The Cestrians then hit Ryhope on the break and got the killer blow in the 89th minute when Alex White converted a cross from the left.

Ryhope had to go all out attack to have any chance of progressing in the cup and responded to the goal by throwing more men forward, this was exposed by the Cestrians who sent a long ball forward over a depleted Ryhope defence, Alex White got ran onto the ball and ran through one-on-one with the keeper making no mistake in firing past Jonny Ball.

This goal confirmed Ryhope’s exit from the Durham Challenge Cup. The result could have been different had substitute Callum Haswell finished a golden opportunity a couple of minutes before the Chester-le-Street winner, but Colliery Welfare manager Gary Pearson was keen to not point fingers at any of his players.

He said: “Callum’s got blistering pace, he’s naturally left-footed and we didn’t want to take James Ellis on the left side off but we knew Callum’s pace would be a threat and if we took Ellis off the chance would have never happened so it was the right decision to make.

“What I’ve said to the lads in there is don’t blame Callum for the miss, he’s ran 60 yards to get in behind everyone to get to the rebound that came to his right foot.

“What’s disappointed me the most is the fact that 10 other players dwelled on the disappointment of the miss and allowed them to get to the other end of the pitch and score.”

On his assessment of the game, Pearson added: “It was a game of missed chances really, if we don’t put away our chances we leave ourselves wide open but clearly in the first half the football we played was a long way better than Chester-le-Street but we didn’t have the final cutting edge and that’s come back to haunt us.

“It wasn’t a 3-1 game, if it was a 3-1 game it should have been to us.”

Ryhope have had a busy schedule with runs in the FA Vase and their league form and brought two key attacking players in Matty Weirs and Josh Holme-Jackson off early, on whether this was due to fatigue the gaffer said: “Definitely not, we just needed to change a few things up. As much as Josh is scoring goals and Matty is creating them, in that game they’d both had their chances and it wasn’t happening so we needed to change things up and give the opposition something to think about.”

Ryhope  return to league action on Saturday with a long trip to the GER Stadium to play Marske United. This follows two cup games in the row which have brought mixed results for Ryhope, progressing in the FA Vase with an emphatic win against Harrogate Railway but going out of the Durham Challenge Cup.