Whickham FC were knocked out of the FA Vase in the second round qualifying by Second division side – Redcar Athletic – after two penalties in quick succession sink the Lang Jacks.
The visitors took the lead after 11 minutes thanks to in-form striker Zak Atkinson rounding the goalkeeper before netting and seeming in control until the second half where the Lang Jacks crumbled, conceding to penalties in the 78th and 82nd minute.
The Glebemen made a few changes going into this cup fixture after an injury to Alex Francis in the victory away to Consett AFC: Ross Peareth replaced Francis in the starting lineup along with Jack Errington returning to the first XI – replacing Dale Burrell who dropped to the bench and a return for Jack Robson, who started as a substitute alongside new signing Lewis McNall.
In the early stages both sides struggled to keep the ball not helped by the windy conditions but both teams had half-chances early on – Conor Newton rolling his effort from outside the area into the goalkeepers arms before Isaac Walker came close for the hosts two minutes later – bending his shot just wide of the far post.
The away side took the lead on the 11th minute after great work by Conor Newton in midfield, jinking past a few defenders before feeding Atkinson who rounded the goalkeeper and tapped the ball home.
There were chances few and far between before the end of the first half with the hosts coming close on two occasions before the break: the first was an in-swinging free-kick shortly after Whickham’s opener which floated just wide of the post before Newton slid in to stop Adam Preston breaking through on goal in the 23rd minute.
Ross Peareth was forced to leave the pitch after being injured from several tackled within the first 40 minutes which saw the experienced midfielder replaced by Declan Bisset.
Injury problems seemed to continue for the away side as Kieran Galbraith hobbled off temporarily just after the second half began but luckily he was able to run it off.
Shortly after Atkinson crashed an effort off the post before Tom Scothern hammered the ball straight at the goalkeeper in the 53rd minute.
A minute later Walker got in behind the Lang Jacks defence but he fired his effort over the top.
Jack Robson made his first appearance since Whickham’s victory against Ryhope CW, coming on for Tom Scothern after 74 minutes.
Four minutes later the home side got their first penalty after Jack Errington caught the back of a leg inside the visitors area which was converted by Preston – too powerful for Regan Ward to keep out.
Preston scored an identical penalty minutes later to turn the game on its head as Tomas Howard slid in and misjudged his challenge bringing down a Redcar forward allowing the home side to take a deserved lead.
Mark Convery’s side huffed and puffed for an equaliser but his team could not find a way through even with a fair claim for a penalty of their own after an apparent handball inside the Redcar box.
Whickham FC’s next fixture comes against Shildon in th league on Tuesday, October 15.
Three things we learned:
- Football is a game of 90 minutes and after a decent first half, the Lang Jacks allowed Redcar back into the game by not pressing up to the Redcar players.
- Getting that second goal is essential when you’re dominating the game because a game of football can change in the blink of an eye if once the other team realise they’re still in it.
- Football can also be a very cruel game as you can be up a height one moment then down in the dumps the next like beating Consett then getting knocked out of the cup in the space of nearly five minutes so it is best to move on from these defeats, learn from the losses but move onto the next game of football.
Ben Robinson spoke to Whickham’s man of the match; Conor Newton after the defeat: