Whickham booked their place in the Durham Challenge Cup quarter-final with a convincing victory over a youthful South Shields side. WRITES ADAM TONES.
Matty Pattison took interim charge of the Lang Jacks for the final time with new manager Lee Haldane casting an eye over his squad from a distance.
Scott Robson, Jamie Dunn, and Dale Burrell all scored from close range inside half an hour with Sam Dibb-Fuller adding a goal either side of half time.
The visitor’s kept going and deservedly got themselves on the scoresheet thanks to substitute Nathan Kidd and a late header from Joe Errington.
Whickham took the lead inside 10 minutes when Harry Yoxall drove forward after regaining possession on the edge of the box before neatly squaring the ball to Robson to fire past Callum Dobson.
Robson almost grabbed his second goal in a matter of minutes after latching onto Shay Richardson’s through ball but his effort on target was comfortably saved by Dobson.
The South Shields goalkeeper was keeping the away team in the game single-handedly in the opening stages pulling off a point-blank save to deny Robson again.
Whickham doubled their lead a few minutes later when Robson’s goal-bound shot was tamely cleared to Dunn to hammer past Dobson from only two yards out.
The hosts were running riot in the first half with captain Burrell next to get his name on the scoresheet.
Dibb-Fuller was fouled after cutting inside – the winger’s resulting free-kick from the far left was headed home by Burrell after losing his man inside the Shields box.
Whickham continued to press and grabbed their fourth goal just before half-time when Dibb-Fuller reacted quickest to fire Robson’s pass into the back of Dobson’s net.
The Lang Jacks all but secured victory when Dibb-Fuller beat his man after racing onto Richardson’s through ball early in the second half before cleverly slotting the ball into Dobson’s far left-hand corner.
South Shields pulled a goal back when Burrell’s cross-field ball was intercepted by Kidd, the striker composing himself before sliding the ball under Whickham goalkeeper Nathan Harker.
Dunn almost got on the end of Kaleb Young’s corner 15 minutes from time, but the defender was unable to keep his header on target and instead watched his attempt sail over Dobson’s crossbar.
The hosts carved out another chance when Robson found himself in space inside the Shield’s box, but the striker was unable to force Dobson into a save.
As the match approached the final stages the Mariners notched their second goal of the night when Errington rose highest inside the box to head past Harker.
South Shields came out fighting in the second half and produced a resilient performance, but it was the hosts who deservedly booked their spot in the next round of the Durham Challenge Cup.
Whickham Team | Harker, Howard (Below 72’), Garside (Moody 66’), Burrell (McCleugh 83’), Agnew, Dunn, Yoxall (Young 44’), Richardson, Smith, Dibb-Fuller (Page 66’), S. Robson.
Goalscorers | S. Robson 10’, Dunn 20’, Burrell 30’, Dibb-Fuller 41’,49’
Referee | Adam Herzgeg
Man of the Match | Shay Richardson