Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting DN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Spennymoor Town 3 Gornal Athletic 1
5:02pm Saturday 2nd March 2013 in Sport
TWO goals in the last 20 minutes ended Gornal Athletic’s FA Vase dreams at Spennymoor Town.
The hosts struck first in the quarter-final tie when Gavin Cogdon blasted home from the spot after he was felled by Rob Blair.
Gornal stunned the hosts with an equaliser on the stroke of half-time courtesy of Lewis Dodds' own goal.
But Mark Davison fired the home side back ahead and Cogdon grabbed his second to seal it.
In the end it was a deserved victory for the hosts, though for the first 60 minutes Gornal’s followers were daring to dream as both sides struggled to seize the initiative.
Both halves were a mirror image, with Gornal starting stronger in both before the hosts gradually upped their game to assume control.
We shall never know but had Curtis Tilt not been suspended for the tie, saving the unlucky Blair from his first sight in many months, things might have turned out different.
Blair arrived later than a Nick Clegg apology in bringing down Cogdon, handing the hosts a chance to take the lead in a tight game.
Dodds' own goal stunned the hosts but from the hour mark on they began to exert dominance and the score would have been greater but for some great saves from James Pemberton in the Gornal goal, coupled with some dreadful finishing.
For all the hype surrounding the hosts it was the visitors who made the brighter start and the ball was rarely out of Spennymoor’s half in the opening ten minutes.
Mike Perks had the first real chance, shooting over from the edge of the box, while Chris Rabone was a constant menace on the left wing. One good run saw him pull the ball across the six yard box but the ball would not sit for Matt Weyman when he attempted to force it home.
Keith Graydon had the sleepy hosts’ first effort when he shot wide following a swift break. Gradually the home side began to assert some kind of dominance as Kallum Griffiths shot wide and Pemberton denied Cogdon, who had tried to lob the Gornal keeper after breaking clear of the defence.
Moments later Cogdon was giving another chance from 12 yards after being recklessly brought down by Blair. The striker picked himself up off the ground and fired the spot-kick into the bottom corner, sending Pemberton the wrong way.
Gornal almost levelled immediately when a lovely move on the edge of the box found Rabone in space but keeper Robert Dean was quick to narrow the angle and block the shot.
However, the hosts were looking ominous and Mark Davison almost doubled the lead with an improvised effort from a Ruddy cross which Pemberton could only watch drift narrowly wide.
In that respect Gornal’s leveller came somewhat out of the blue. Wherton’s free-kick was flicked on and Dodds, perhaps blinded by the same low sun which made his identification a nightmare for the press corps, could only send his header over Dean and into the bottom corner.
Rejuvenated by the goal, Gornal began the second half the same they had the first, with Perks again having the first chance and again sending it off target.
Davison sent a header wide at the other end, while Marvin Nisbett’s first touch let him down after Wherton had taken a quick free-kick.
The symmetry to thr first half was almost unnerving as gradually Spennymoor upped the pace and they would have re-taken the lead but for a wonderful save from Pemberton at point blank range from Davison’s header.
Davison thought he had restored the advantage with a header soon after only to be denied by a linesman’s flag. Pemberton stood tall to deny Cogdon but by now it was one way traffic and another quick break saw the hosts finally breach the visiting defence.
Cogdon got free down the left and sent in a low cross which Davison diverted past Pemberton.
Gornal battled for a way back but the hosts were getting stronger. Davison had a fierce shot blocked before Cogdon effectively ended the contest, lifting the ball home after Pemerton had superbly denied Phillips.
Substitute Steven Richardson almost rubbed salt into the wound with a shot which crept wide.
Ricky Nicholls fired wide for Gornal in stoppage time, before Richardson was guilty of a dreadful miss with almost the last kick when he drove wide with just Pemberton to beat.
SPENNYMOOR: Dean, Griffiths, Ryan, Dodds, Moore (c), Capper, Ruddy (Walton 58), Graydon, Davison, Cogdon (Richardson 80), Phillips Subs not used: Rae, Mason, Knight.
Goals: Cogdon 31pen 79, Davison 71.
GORNAL: Pemberton, Green, Wood, Blair (Nicholls 63), Waterhouse (c), Wilkhoo (Morgan 78), Perks, Wherton, Weyman, Nisbett (Sangha 80), Rabone Subs not used: Welch, Martin.
Goal: Dodds og 45.