Make that 1,351 days for Whitley Bay, who brushed aside Bridlington Town 5-1 at Hillheads to make it into the last 32 of the FA Vase, a competition they haven’t lost in since the spring of 2008. Four goals up at half time, Paul Chow and David Coulson both netted twice as the Northern League side comfortably saw off the North East Counties League title challengers.
There were similar stories at Dunston, who beat NECL side Parkgate – conquerors of Bedlington Terriers in the previous round – 3-1 at the UTS Stadium, Andrew Bulford and Stephen Goddard (2) scoring the goals, and Newcastle Benfield, where the home side recovered from a 1-0 half-time deficit against Deeping Rovers to win through 3-1, Mick Chilton once again among the goals. League leaders West Auckland were made to battle by Askern Villa of the NECL Second Division, Mattie Moffatt scoring two goals and Michael Rae the other as the Durham side returned from Doncaster with a 3-2 win.
In the all-Northern League ties Ashington took full advantage of a dreadful performance from Spennymoor Town, second half goals from high-scoring midfielder Andrew Johnson and ex-Newcastle United wide man Jonny Godsmark meaning it’s another year of misery in the Vase for Jason Ainsley’s two-time league champions. A goal ahead with a Chay Liddle penalty on just nine minutes, Billingham Synthonia put four past Consett, ex-Middlesbrough Academy player Daniel McWilliams, Nathan Jameson and top-scorer Danny Earl adding the remaining goals.
In the Northern League itself, Shildon thrashed bottom side Stokesley 11-0 in Division One, while there were wins elsewhere for Sunderland RCA – who went top on goal difference ahead of West Auckland – Marske United, Bedlington Terriers, Bishop Auckland and Billingham Town, now just a single point behind Jarrow Roofing – 4-0 losers at Marske – in the third relegation place. With recent signing from Guisborough Dave Onions netting his first goal for the club, Town might not be there for very much longer.
North Shields won 1-0 at home to Thornaby in Division Two to close the gap on long-time leaders Team Northumbria to just five points, the University side losing 4-1 away at fast improving Whitehaven Amateurs. Northumbria have played three games more than North Shields and two more than third-placed Esh Winning, who stay six points off the top after a 5-2 home defeat against Gillford Park. With Darlington RA losing 2-0 at Brandon United and West Allotment 3-1 winners at bottom of the table Easington, the top six places currently look like this:
1. Team Northumbria P23 Pts 44
2. North Shields P20 Pts 39
3. Esh Winning P21 Pts 38
4. Darlington RA P24 Pts 38
5. Gillford Park P19 Pts 37
6. West Allotment P21 Pts 37