West Auckland had two men sent off in a controversial 3-1 defeat against Chester-le-Street in the first qualifying round of the Vase on Saturday, writes Ray Simpson.

West were annoyed when an assistant referee appeared to raise his flag for offside from a goal kick, and as the West defence stopped, Chester's Phil Bell ran through to make the score 3-1. And in the following arguments, West skipper Brian Fairhurst was sent off for swearing, reducing his side to nine.

Chester took the lead in the first half through Willie Moat's header, and then went further ahead when Bell finished off a left wing move.

Fairhurst pulled one back from the penalty spot following a foul to make it 2-1, but then West had defender Stuart Wise dismissed for swearing.

Horden had a comfortable away win, by 2-0 at Darwen. Kevin Devine fired them in front just before half-time, then Rob Huntley made it two on the hour.

Norton striker Paul Rowntree scored the only goal of the game for his side at Squires Gate, beating the home keeper at the second attempt just ten minutes from time.

North Shields scored their first goals of the season as they saw off Hebburn 4-1. They were 1-0 down at half-time, but then David Brown, Steve Hamil, Paul Gibb and Roy Gordon scored in the second half.

Northern Alliance club Ryton are through thanks to a late goal for a 3-2 win over Abbey Hey.

Wearside League club Shotton were thumped 6-1 at Ramsbottom, while Northern Alliance club Murton lost 2-0 at home to St Helens.

The draw for the second qualifying round on 25th September is; Winsford v Marske, North Shields v Thackley, Morpeth v Liversedge, Chadderton v Seaham Red Star, Newcastle Benfield Saints v Ramsbottom.

Evenwood v Consett, Holker Old Boys v Whickham, Peterlee v Clipstone, Washington v Brandon, Pontefract v Prudhoe, Retford v South Shields, Ryton v Flixton, Northallerton v Crook, Selby v Alnwick, Thornaby v Chester-le-Street.

Washington Nissan v Whitley Bay, Atherton LR v Horden, Penrith v Norton, Armthorpe v Esh Winning.

Salford v Willington, Goole v Guisborough, Jarrow Roofing v Nelson, Bacup Borough v Tow Law, Shildon v Ashington, Newcastle Blue Star v Easington, Kennek Ryhope CA v St Helens Town.