Spennymoor Town progressed into the 2nd Qualifying Round of the F.A.Cup thanks to a second half winner from substitute Michael Roberts. Moors twice held the lead but were pegged back by a spirited Bishop Auckland side looking for a giant killing act on their higher ranked visitors.
Moors made one change to the team that beat Brighouse Town in midweek as Andrew Stephenson replaced James Armstrong, and Spennymoor got off to a perfect start by taking the lead in the first ten seconds. Top scorer Liam Henderson picked up a pass from Bishop defender Ben Riding to run through and fire past Scott Pocklington. Gavin Cogdon then went close but his effort was blocked by the legs of Pocklington.
The home side applied some pressure and got their rewards in the 26th minute when Glen Lane crossed from the left and Danny Brunskill got in between Moors defender Paul Johnson and keeper Adam McHugh to glance his header home at the near post. Bishops perhaps should have gone ahead moments later when sub Adam Sakr got the better of Johnson and raced into the box but he wanted too many touches and McHugh saved at his feet.
Moors however kept their composure and got their noses back in front in the 37th minute through excellent determination by Henderson who closed down Riding’s clearance to slot the ball past Pocklington.
The hosts came out the second half bright and after Chris Lawson headed over from a corner, they deservedly got back on level terms in the 50th minute with a peach of a free kick by Lane. Brunskill was fouled outside the area and Bishop winger Lane curled a delightful shot around the wall and into McHugh’s top right hand corner. McHugh then kept Moors in it with a superb tip over from Corey Nicholson’s cross cum shot from the right.
Both sides were evenly matched and had chances before Moors got the winner in the 72nd minute as sub Roberts wan onto Henderson’s flick to race away, hold off a challenge from Lawson and he tucked the ball away past Pocklington and book Spennymoor’s place in Monday’s draw for the 2nd Qualifying Round. Bishop almost forced a replay as in stoppage time McHugh blocked an effort and Brunskill turned and fired inches past the post.
After the game boss Jason Ainsley said; “It was a typical local derby. We got off to a flyer but didn’t kick on. Fair play to Bishop who I thought were excellent on the day and were always a threat. We’re delighted to get through to the next round despite being nowhere near our best. In previous years we would have lost that game. I was delighted that Mikey got the winner as I asked him for a goal and he delivered when it mattered.”
1 McHugh, 2 Griffiths, 3 Mason, 4 Dodds, 5 Tait, 6 P Johnson, 7 Stephenson, 8 Graydon,
9 Henderson, 10 Cogdon, 11 Peacock.
McAndrew on for Peacock
Roberts on for Graydon
Armstrong on for Cogdon
Subs Not Used:
A Johnson, Groves, Capper, Hayes.