Colliers exit Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup with defeat at Chester-le-Street
Daniel McGuire’s strike either side of an Andrew Clarkson brace meant the hosts booked a spot in the last eight.
Robbie Thompson pulled a goal back late on for the Colliers but it was just a consolation.
The Colliers made two changes from Thursday’s win over Washington with Jake Metcalf and Brennan Ball giving way for Shaun Smith and Chris Pearson.
Craig Hughes and Craig Veart opted for a similar 3-5-2 formation to Thursday’s night with Liam Adamson and Jay Redman leading the line.
On a very heavy and in places bobbly pitch, it was a quiet start until the seventh minute with both sides looking to test each other out.
However, with their first chance, Chester-le-Street took the lead. Smith was penalised for what looked a very soft free-kick and it was floated into the penalty area where Clarkson’s header back across goal picked out the far corner.
The early goal meant the Colliers needed to respond and in the ninth minute, Ryan Lincoln Barrow beat two defenders but his shot was blazed high and wide.
Controversy was to follow in the 12th minute. Redman’s through ball was perfectly timed to play Adamson in. The forward charge down on goal and goalkeeper Jack Wilson sprinted off his line. Wilson clattered into Adamson without taking the ball but to the amazement of the whole ground, the referee waved play on!
The Colliers were angered by the decision and as a result, Pearson went in the book.
Another quiet period followed as Chester-le-Street’s direct style was more suited to the heavy pitch. Easington were struggling to play their usual passing football and possession was being lost all too often.
Clarkson tried his luck again in the 23rd minute but it was a comfortable save for Kyle Donaldson while at the other end, David Vincent danced through a couple of players before dragging harmlessly wide.
Just after the half hour mark, free-flowing football from the Colliers saw a Jordan Hailes throw find James Talbot and he helped it onto Adamson. Adamson’s sharp turn gave him room to pick out Lincoln Barrow but he could only curl wide.
Easington’s best chance to date came in the 34th minute. A short corner was given straight back to Ethan Wood’s whose pinpoint cross found Shane O’Brien but his free header dipped narrowly over.
Ethan Wood was next to have a go but his free-kick was deflected into the hands of the goalkeeper before Lincoln Barrow’s through ball almost played Adamson in but it was slightly too heavy and Wilson was able to claim.
The Green Army started brightly in the second half as Adamson burst down the wing before cutting the ball back in search of Redman but it was slightly too far behind the former County player.
Harry Wood was introduced 10 minutes into the second half and he made an immediate impact by winning the Colliers a couple of corners.
They came to nothing, but Wood offered something fresh up front.
In the 59th minute, Ethan Wood weaved a way through the centre of the park before trying his luck but Wilson’s pushed the low effort behind for a corner.
Although probably looking slightly the brighter in the opening exchanges of the second half, the Colliers were punished in the 67th minute. Chester-le-Street broke from the last of three consecutive Easington corners and quickly found McGuire. He took the ball down the left wing and cut in to beat Lincoln Barrow before coolly slotting past Donaldson.
In Easington’s second substitution, Thompson was introduced and he could have had a goal within a minute of coming on. Vincent’s initial effort was blocked but a kind bounce played Thompson in only for him to be denied as Wilson saved with his legs.
The substitute had another chance with 20 minutes to play but sliced well wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Two goals behind, the Colliers had to go for it and so O’Brien went upfront. He rose to meet a header in the 74th minute but Wilson saved.
Two minutes later, at the other end, Chester-le-Street had a chance to seal the win but a glancing header from a matter of four yards was headed towards the corner flag.
Chester-le-Street wouldn’t be left to rue on missed chances though as a third came in the 82nd minute to seal the win.
Jimmy Appleby slipped at the back and Clarkson pinched possession before slotting home.
Despite being three behind, the Colliers kept plugging away and did pull one back with two minutes to play. Ethan Wood’s fine work saw him cut back from the byline to eventually find Thompson and he applied the finishing touch from six yards.
Two further great chances were still to come for the Colliers and they both fell the way of O’Brien. Firstly, he headed a Talbot cross a matter of inches wide before he somehow headed over from about a yard out!
It wasn’t to be for the Colliers and it was Chester-le-Street who booked their spot in the quarter finals.
Full-time: Chester-le-Street Town 3-1 Easington Colliery
Next up for me is possibly a game tomorrow.
Easington Colliery: Donaldson, O’Brien, Hailes, Pearson (c) (Appleby, 79′), Talbot, Lincoln Barrow, Ethan Wood, Vincent, Adamson (Thompson, 68′), Redman (Harry Wood, 55′), Shaun Smith
Unused subs: Connor, Ball
Chester-le-Street Town: Wilson, Stephenson, Reynolds (Brid Thompson, 76′), Megran (c), Greaves, Lyon (Surrey, 46′), McGuire, Naylor, White (Dixon, 84′), Clarkson, Aaron Thompson
Unused subs: Marron, Hepplewhite
Admission: £5 adults, £3 concessions
Referee: Lee May