Tow Law Town 1-3 West Auckland Town
West Auckland came from behind to beat Division Two side Tow Law Town 3-1 at the Ironworks ground.
Dean Thexton’s strike gave the hosts an early lead before penalties from Nathan Fisher and Arran Wearmouth, either side of Adam Mitchell’s exquisite lob helped West claim a sixth consecutive victory.
With just over a week to go till the season gets underway, there was plenty more positives to take for Gary Forrest’s side after an inspiring performance.
The only sour note was the inability to keep another clean sheet which was lost in the third minute, when after a back pass was played short, Tow Law saw their first effort blocked by Shane Bland only for the rebound to be diverted into the path of last season’s top goalscorer Thexton, who made no mistake and fired the hosts infront from the edge of the area.
As the first-half wore on, West started to pile on the pressure and got their reward when Alex Francis was brought down in the penalty area inside the 29th minute and Fisher stepped up and sent the Tow Law keeper the wrong way, smashing the ball high into the net to bring the scores level.
Before the break, the visitors had a great opportunity to take the lead through Anthony Bell, who hit a swerving left-footed shot onto the crossbar from 22 yards out in what would have been a spectacular goal.
After the interval, Forrest made a couple of changes in search of a winner with Ross Colquhoun and a Trialist coming off and Michael McKeown and Amar Purewal replacing them.
In the 55th minute, it looked like the changes paid off as West went 2-1 up, when Purewal raced through on goal only to be kept out by the Tow Law keeper, with the ball ricocheting into the feet of Mitchell and from 20 yards out, he was able to deliver an excellent lob into the net.
Seven minutes later, Tow Law almost equalised when Thexton’s header was just a whisker away and sailed narrowly wide of Bland’s left-hand post.
However, the match was all but taken away from the hosts when Wearmouth converted West’s second penalty of the evening, drilling it low and hard into the bottom left corner after a handball in the box to seal a 3-1 win.
West now make the 130-mile trip to Greater Manchester for their final pre-season game against Cheadle Town on Saturday 28th July. (15:00 KO)
West Auckland – Bland, Bell, Cobain, Colquhoun (McKeown ‘45’), Price, Snaith, Dodds (Parker ‘77’), Francis (Doninger ‘64’), Mitchell, Trialist (Purewal ‘45’), Fisher (Wearmouth ‘70’)
Subs not used – Coulson, Portas, Connor
Goals – Fisher (29’pen) Mitchell (55), Wearmouth (85’pen).
Report by Harry Crowe.