A young Hartlepool United side were given a real scare before seeing off Wearside League outfit Sunderland West End in the First Round of the Durham Challenge Cup last night.
West End took the lead five minutes before half-time with a John Butler penalty as the promotion challengers threatened to pull off a shock win at Nissan Sports Complex.
But Pools rallied after half-time and progressed into Round Two thanks to second-half goals from Marcus Dinanga (pictured) and Josh Hawkes.
Hartlepool FC also progressed with a comfortable 4-0 win at Wearside League rivals Darlington RA.
Sam Cook led the way for Terry Hill’s side with a brace and Matty Gardner and Jamie Tumilty also got on the scoresheet to notch an impressive win at Brinkburn Road.
Billingham Synthonia were sent out of the competition after they were beaten at home by Dunston UTS.
Clark Reader gave Synners a surprise lead on 21 minutes, but goals from Jordan Nellis, Mark Fitzpatrick and Scott Heslop saw last season’s Challenge Cup runners-up through to the next round.
They’ll be joined in the hat by Gateshead after they put four past Billingham Town at the International Stadium thanks to goals from Lewis McGeoch (2), Connor Thompson and JJ O’Donnell.
Easington Colliery were sent out of the competition as a brace from Scott Jasper and goal from Callum Turnbull condemned them to a 3-0 defeat at Ryton & Crawcrook Albion.
Two Chris Winn goals put Bishop Auckland on their way to a 3-0 win at Jarrow FC.
First-team striker Harvey Saunders was on the scoresheet as a young Darlington side secured a 3-1 win at Esh Winning. Early goals from Saunders and Alex Henshall put the Quakers in control early on.
The lead was halved six minutes before the interval by Max Stoker, but an Alex Henshall goal restored Darlington’s two-goal lead and that was the way it stayed.
It was a night of surprises in the Northumberland Senior Cup as Heaton Stannington and West Allotment Celtic produced impressive displays to see off Northern League Division One opposition.
Former Whitley Bay striker Connor Campbell came back to haunt his former club with two goals in Heaton Stannington’s 4-3 over the Seahorses and Michael Leech hit a hat-trick as West Allotment romped to a 5-1 win against Ashington at Druid Park.