TN win league cup, West finish without a trophy

First published in Northern League: Division 1

Brooks Mileson Northern League cup final.

Team Northumbria 4 West Auckland 1.

West Auckland ended the season without a trophy after they were beaten 4-1 by second division champions Team Northumbria in the Brooks Mileson Northern League cup final last night.

West lost in the FA Vase final last Sunday and were pipped for the Northern League title on the last day, but they looked as if they might win the league cup when they took the lead after 12 minutes when Stuart Banks crossed for Elliott Gardner to head home.

But TN levelled on 21 minutes when Robert Cavaner showed great skill on the edge of the box, swivelling quickly to volley over Mark Bell for the equaliser.

TN went 2-1 up six minutes later when Peter Watling scored at the second attempt, and things got even worse for West when Banks was dismissed just before half time for a two footed tackle.

But nevertheless, West were the better team at the start of the second half. Darryl Hall hit the bar with a header, Mattie Moffat had a goal disallowed for offside, and Martin Young hit the angle of post and crossbar from the edge of the box.

But West were caught with seven minutes left when a viciously swerving shot by Gavin Donoghue went straight through Bell, then Mark Fenwick broke away and lifted the ball over the advancing Bell for the fourth.

TN manager Paul Johnson said: "We eventually got exactly what we deserved. After taking Newcastle to penalties in the Northumberland Senior Cup but to lose the EA Cup final was a hard defeat to take but the lack of recovery time just didn't allow us to do ourselves justice. But tonight's game with a good rest allowed us to show everyone what we can do and especially in the first half wqe played to our potential. We had to defend in spells in the second half, but we knew that once we saw that out, they would leave themselves open to the counter which we capitalised upon. It's been a good end to a great season, and all in all we can't complain about winning the league and league cup, and making every other final we could play in."

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