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Friday, 29 May 2015

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Hexham are on course to realise county cup dream

HEXHAM’S dream of capturing the Northumberland FA Minor Cup remains on track after they breezed into the last 16.

Jamie Peel put in a man of the match display for Hexham in their demolition of FOWS Diggers in the county cup tie on Saturday.

With only Northern Alliance rivals Red House Farm ranked higher, they are in with a great shout of lifting the trophy won by Tynedale neighbours Wallington last year.

Goals rained in from all angles when they welcomed Friends of Walker School Diggers, with full back Tom Hacking even coming within whiskers of netting his first of the season.

In reality, the result was beyond doubt after 20 minutes when the tireless Scott Robson completed his hat-trick to put Hexham firmly in the driving seat.

The hosts were always favourites going into the county cup tie, FOWS struggling at the foot of the first division of the Tyneside Amateur League.

And the rout which was predicted looked on the cards as early as the fifth minute, Robson rising early to nut Neil Tiffin’s corner past a static Michael Charlton.

Eleven minutes later and he was on a brace, given too much time in the area to control the ball before diverting strike partner Liam Heenan’s cross into the bottom corner. Hexham were given a scare within a minute though, FOWS’ livewire striker Matthew Hayton capitalising on a glaring goalkeeper error from Carl Robinson to peg the home side back.

Hayton, head and shoulders above the rest of his teammates, stole in when Robinson shouted for defender Paul McLean to leave a harmless through ball, leaving him with the easy task of slotting the ball into the unguarded goal.

Yet Robson showed his prowess at the other end to complete a 19-minute hat-trick, using his wile to sneak in to convert Steven Coates’ low cross and, realistically, put the tie out of reach.

Hexham’s margin was three goals on 24 minutes when Thomas North’s cross was half cleared to Stuart Brown, the former Wark winger finding the net with a smart finish.

Again, Hayton was Diggers’ only threat and he was desperately unlucky to see his thunderous shot thump the crossbar after he showed great feet to make space at the corner of the penalty area.

Ayden Kocak was on hand to put home the rebound but he strayed offside and Hexham remained 4-1 ahead.

It was Hexham’s turn to have a goal chalked off for offside, captain Gavin Cox frustrated that his header did not count because of a disputed flag.

Cox was then counting his blessings that only a free-kick was awarded when he tripped Hayton, the foul occurring in the area but getting away with it as the FOWS player landing outside fooled referee David Dowling.

Hexham’s dominance continued after the break, Robson close to his fourth after rounding Charlton only for the covering Danny Watt to clear the danger.

But their fifth goal came on 55 minutes, a fine individual goal from winger North after cutting inside and sending a 20 yard effort with his unfavoured left peg past Charlton.

As consolation for their hard work despite the scoreline, FOWS reduced the arrears with 15 minutes left when Chris Chan’s volley bounced into the net.

But that was as good as it got for Diggers, the talented Luke Parkinson making an impact just minutes after being introduced from the bench by standing the ball up to the far post for Heenan to head home.

The striker was denied a brilliant second moments later, his lob on the goalkeeper headed off the goal-line and onto the bar by Chris Maddocks.

A good day for Hexham was rounded off with three minutes remaining, Parkinson having the final say when he did well to control his effort and grab his side’s seventh of the afternoon.