Rovers have an away day with Minor Cup win
Chemfica 0-4 Spittal Rovers
The away day blues that have accompanied Spittal’s disappointing form on the road of late were quickly erradicated following this morale boosting NFA Minor Cup win - two goals from Craig Bell helping to send the Seasiders into the next round of the much coveted competition.
Despite the convincing result, a depleted Rovers gave their Tyneside Amateur League opponents hope of an upset for a lot longer than was neccessary after squandering various opportunities to take full control of the fixture.
The electric Niall Jones whipped in several dangerous crosses which certainly kept Chemfica keeper James Nowosielksi on his toes. Conor Duffy drifted in from out wide to shoot off target before a last ditch challenge from Mark Davison denied the busy Bell. Skipper Paul Wood then fired wide from Duffy’s lay off before a lob from Jones, who had got in behind Chris Lockerbie, was flicked away from danger by covering defender Christian Bola.
The opening goal arrived just before the interval courtesy of Duffy’s persistence down the left, the winger recycling an over hit cross to centre perfectly for marauding full back Ben Fairbairn to fire intently past Nowosielksi. It had not all been plain sailing prior to this however, with the hosts looking dangerous during a positive ten minute spell of their own going the other way - the pace and trickery of Andy Massemba in the wide areas and the driving runs of Jada Kwajok opening up Rovers at times, but any efforts were from distance with Ashley Pendrich rarely troubled.
Chemfica emerged from half-time looking threatening with Pendrich saving superbly from Ellis Bowen to deny him an equaliser - Richard Baxendale booting clear the loose ball. Will Short then made am important challenge on Peter Brimstone before another forceful run from Kwajok almost slotted in Francis Irimeira - Dylan Johnston’s tackle ending that particular move.
The Berwick side soon got themselves composed Johnston bossing the midfield and Kyle Jeffrey becoming a fantastic out ball for them down the left. Ben Amers missed a great chance to double his side’s lead, but made no mistake moments later - powering home Bell’s knock down from point blank range. Amers then created his side’s third and was unfortunate not to grab a second goal for himself when his effort rebounded off the upright into the path of Bell who slotted home.
The strike of the match arrived late on when Fairbairn found Bell twenty five yards out. After getting the ball out of his feet, he arked an unstoppable effort right into the top corner of the net past a helpless Nowosielksi. Some robust challenges on Johnston near the end showed that the youngster loves a bit of competitiveness and he duly gave it back to his opponent despite the big centre half towering over him.
A first win on the road for Scott Mitchell’s men and a clean sheet for Spittal to take into their next cup encounter, which sees Coundon & Leeholme make the 180 mile round trip to Newfields on Saturday.