FA Vase

SPENNYMOOR goalkeeper Keith Finch was a hero at both ends of the park as Moors survived a tense penalty shoot-out against Coalville to clinch a place in the last 16 of the FA Carlsberg Vase.

After two hours of football failed to separate the sides in a 1-1 draw, former Darlington keeper Finch saved Coalville’s second penalty in the first stage of the shootout before taking his turn to tuck one away – and he was the first to celebrate when Coalville keeper Chris Gibson fired his sudden death kick over the top to put Moors through.

Manager Jason Ainsley said: “At the end of extra time Keith said that he would take the fifth penalty, and I didn’t mind because he’s taken penalties before at other clubs and in Sunday matches.

“He was probably the coolest man on the pitch in the shoot-out, and after he saved one penalty, he was deadly with the one he scored.

“It’s a great result for us, but now we know that we’ve got a very tough game in the next round at Bideford.

“I always knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, because Coalville are a good side, and you’ve got to feel for them, because it was a case of so near and yet so far.

“The lads were brilliant, and the players we brought in because of the injuries were outstanding.’’ The Leicestershire side had the early edge and went close on a couple of occasions, but Moors improved with Jamie Clarke and Ruddy going close.

Moors thought they were on their way to the next round in extra time when Ruddy cut in from the right and scored with a curler from 25 yards, but Coalville levelled to force a spot kicks.

Ainsley’s side go to Bideford in the last 16 on February 7th and are considering flying to Devon.

In the Durham Challenge Cup, Durham are through to the semi-finals thanks to a late goal by Adam Johnston two minutes from the end of extra time against Dunston.

The Northern League side defended well, and looked as if they would hold out for penalties before the late effort.

Durham boss Lee Collings said: “I expected Dunston to make it hard for us, and I wasn’t proved wrong. They defended well throughout the game.”

Dunston keeper Barry Poskett pulled off a couple of good saves in the first half but he was finally beaten four minutes from the end of extra time.

Semi-final draw: Consett v Durham City, Billingham Synthonia v Shildon. Ties are to be played on February 7th, with the final on Easter Monday.