Tow Law revived memories of their great Vase run of 1998 when they beat Bridlington Town 2-1 in the first round of this season’s competition at Ironworks Road on Saturday.

Lawyers reached the final in 1998 thanks to some excellent performances at Ironworks Road and good vocal support, and the same ingredients were present again when they pulled off one of the surprises of the round against the Northern Counties East League side.

Manager Steve Murray said; “We were poor in the first half and a real freak own goal could have killed us but we utterly dominated the second half, I’m pleased for the players and the club. The support was truly great in the second half and we deservedly won. Tow Law is a happy and busy place. When we took over the club three years ago we said our aim was to put steel back into the ironworks. Nothing is done yet but the crowds are returning and belief is on the up.”

Loading article content

Lawyers played well in the first half, but they went behind on 43 minutes when defender Kevin Dixon tried to clear, but the ball rebounded off a striker’s head and back into the net.

But Lawyers, who have only lost once at home this season, rolled their sleeves up for the second half, and levelled within three minutes when Matty Smith headed in.

And Dean Thexton got the winner on 70 minutes with an effort that had the Ironworks Road fans roaring.

West Auckland lived up to their third favourites tag by winning 3-0 at West Didsbury and Chorlton.

After a goalless first half, they took the lead with a good shot from Nathan Fisher from just inside the area, and he had a hand in the second on 78 minutes, when his shot was blocked and Denver Morris scored from the rebound.

It was all over when Anthony Bell sent Fisher running through and he set up Amar Purewal to tap in.

West Auckland manager Gary Forrest said; “It was a good solid performance. The team is starting to come together, and we need to build on it.”

The highest goals scorers in the Northern League teams were Ryhope CW, who put double figures past Harrogate RA in their tie.

The other ENL teams through are: Thornaby, Bedlington, Dunston UTS, North Shields, Newcastle Benfield, Whitley Bay and Stockton Town.

Shildon, Billingham Town, Morpeth and Sunderland RCA also come into the draw after receiving exemptions to this stage.

Marske’s away tie at Darwen was postponed, and has been re-arranged for Tuesday night.