Whickham produced a stellar performance against Sunderland RCA to comfortably advance into the FA Cup First Qualifying Round for the first time in 19 years. WRITES ADAM TONES.
The Lang Jacks dominated the match from the first whistle winning 4-0 thanks to goals from Stephen Hall, Jamie Dunn, a bizarre own goal, and Scott Robson.
The hosts took control of the match from the first whistle and caused the visitors problems within the first 10 minutes.
George Priest found space down the right-hand side and delivered an inch-perfect cross for captain Scott Jasper whose header rolled just wide of Keaton Marrs’ far post.
Only minutes later and Joey Smith whipped in a pacey delivery from the left-hand side, but Jasper’s shot somehow went wide of Marrs’ left-hand post.
The deadlock was finally broken on 20 minutes thanks to a brilliant well-taken goal by Stephen Hall.
RCA initially cleared their lines, but Dunn headed the ball back into the box, which was expertly controlled by Hall before spinning around his man like a prime Dennis Bergkamp and blasting the ball past Marrs.
The visitors struggled to cope with the home team’s intensity and the physical strength of forwards Jasper and Hall.
Jasper again found himself in space inside the visitor’s box, but his goal-bound shot hit an RCA defender before being cleared to safety.
The Lang Jacks finally notched their second of the afternoon through defender Jamie Dunn after 36 minutes.
Kaleb Young started the move with a defence-splitting through ball finding Jasper on the edge of the box.
The striker held off his man before his shot was pushed onto the crossbar by Marrs and out for a corner to the home team.
Young’s driven corner was met by Dunn in the middle of the box after losing his man leaving Marrs with no chance and doubling his team’s lead.
As Whickham pushed for another goal, Jasper found himself unmarked after creating space inside the RCA box just before halftime, but the crossbar again came to Marrs’ rescue.
The away team created their first clear-cut opportunity four minutes into the second half, but their shot did not force Nathan Harker into a save.
Only a couple of minutes later the visitors this time hit the crossbar after a mix-up in the Whickham back four allowed the RCA striker time to get his shot away.
Whickham regained their composure after a spell which saw RCA push forward looking for a way back into the game.
Substitute Mitchell Ramsay cleverly drifted past his man down the right-hand side but his cut back for Smith to shoot was neatly saved by Marrs.
Whickham grabbed their third of the afternoon in bizarre circumstances. Smith’s cross from the left was caught by Marrs on his line with the referee waving play on.
However, the referee was then informed by his linesman seconds later that Marrs had in fact backtracked over his goal line after catching the ball and therefore the goal was given.
Tony Fawcett’s team wrapped the match up in style thanks to Scott Robson.
The striker latched onto a David Below pass over the top before cooly controlling the ball and slotting past Marrs for the Lang Jack’s fourth of the afternoon.
Fawcett’s side deserved the win after a solid team performance following a disappointing midweek defeat.
Whickham team: Harker, Howard, Agnew, Dunn (S. Robson 45’), Moody, Priest, Young, Richardson, Smith, Hall (Ramsay 57’), Jasper © (Below 65’)
Subs not used: Lizinde, Cassap, Bewicke, Greenwood.
Goalscorers: Hall 20’, Dunn 36’, Own Goal 75’, S. Robson 90+3.
Man of the Match: Kaleb Young – Sponsored by The Loan Partnership.