Whickham’s FA Vase run ended abruptly after a 3-1 away defeat to Holker Old Boys at the Handmark Engineering Stadium. WRITES ADAM TONES.
Holker scored two first-half goals through William McGladdery and Nathan Reid before a late second-half penalty deep into injury time from Samuel Joel sealed victory.
Nathan Greenwood pulled a goal back for Whickham early in the second half, but the visitors ended the match with ten men after Dom Agnew received a red card 20 minutes from time.
Whickham started the brighter of the two teams when Jamie Dunn headed a Kaleb Young corner wide of Jay Barker’s far post.
However, the home team opened the scoring only a few minutes later when McGladdery’s well-placed free kick from 20 yards out rippled the back of Harker’s net.
The hosts doubled their lead after 38 minutes when a long ball over the top caught the Whickham defence napping allowing Reid to latch onto the ball and slot past Harker.
Whickham’s best chance of the first half fell to Scott Robson, the striker forced Barker into a point-blank save from close range before reacting quickly to deny Greenwood’s rebound.
The Lang Jacks came out fighting in the second half and within minutes of the restart, Greenwood directed substitute Sam Dibbs-Fuller’s cross into the roof of the net.
That was about as good as it got for the visitors and Holker almost grabbed a third after some neat build-up play but Harker was there to pull off a smart save.
The visitor’s afternoon went from bad to worse within the space of five minutes.
Firstly, the referee awarded Holker a penalty after Moody was judged to have handled the ball inside of the box, but Harker guessed the right way to save their resulting spot-kick.
Only a minute later, Agnew was given his marching orders. The defender picked up his second yellow card in a matter of minutes.
Whickham almost equalised against the run of play, Greenwood’s goal-bound free kick from the edge of the box almost found the bottom corner, but Barker reacted well to deny the Lang Jacks.
Holker sealed victory in added time from the spot after Dunn was judged to have mistimed his tackle.
The hosts this time making no mistake from 12 yards out, substitute Joel stepping up to send Harker the wrong way.
A performance Tony Fawcett’s Whickham team will quickly want to forget about, a below par display costing them a place in the next round of the FA Vase.
Whickham team | Harker, Howard (Jasper 73), Garside, Agnew, Yoxall (Peareth 45’), Moody, Young, Dunn, Smith (Dibbs-Fuller 45’), S. Robson, Greenwood.
Unused Subs | Below, Priest, Burrell, Galbraith.
Goalscorer | Greenwood 48’
Red Card | Agnew 71’
Referee | Thomas Crossland
Man of the Match | Garon Garside