West march through to FA Vase Fourth Round with victory over AVRO FC

Avro FC 0-2 West Auckland Town. 

Late goals from Steven Snaith and Thomas Price saw West Auckland claim a hard-fought 2-0 win over Avro FC at the Vestacare Stadium in Oldham.

After a closely contested affair, West broke the deadlock on 83 minutes following a spectacular left-footed volley from skipper Snaith.

Price added a second just five minutes later via a sensational solo-run, before curling his effort beyond Jordan Latham to guarantee a place in the last 32.

Moments before the full-time whistle, Ryan Hanson was sent off for the hosts after a clumsy late challenge on man of the match Snaith.

West, who beat Thackley 1-0 in the previous round courtesy of a late strike from Adam Burnicle, went into the game with lots of momentum having previously gone nine matches unbeaten.

Meanwhile their opposition also had plenty to cheer about prior to kick-off as for the first time in the club’s 82-year history, Avro entered the third round having seen off Barnton, Steeton and Squires Gate in the previous rounds.

The Greater Manchester outfit currently sit in third in the North West Counties First Division North and had only lost twice at home in nine matches heading into this mouth-watering clash.

In damp conditions, Avro started off with a higher tempo and inside the first five minutes had a free-kick from Duncan Knott which was gathered by Shane Bland.

West kept their composure and started to produce some slick passing which led to their first opportunity on 15 minutes as Price made a darting run on the left-hand side followed by a great turn before squaring the ball to veteran striker Paul Connor, who saw his shot saved by Latham at close range.

In the 21st minute, Avro continued to add some more pressure as Joe Bevan forced Bland into making a good save after a slight deflection.

Eight minutes later, an ambitious lobbed effort from Adam Mitchell 25-yards out almost caught Latham off guard though the keeper recovered and made a commendable save to keep the scores level.

On 32 minutes, Mitchell was gifted another chance to send West ahead only to see his curling left-footed free-kick kept out in what was proving to be a tense game.

After the restart, Avro got back underway with more urgency and created a decent chance when Kane Wallwork’s cross found Michael Stockdale in the centre, though he could only direct his header straight into the gloves of Bland.

Auckland’s Bland was determined to keep his 5th clean sheet in seven matches and continued to frustrate the hosts with some exceptional distribution.

In the 77th minute, West produced some wonderful build-up play as substitutes Arran Wearmouth and Denver Morris combined well with the latter rattling his shot against the crossbar from 20-yards out.

Six minutes later, West struck a crucial blow in sublime fashion as Snaith’s first time left-footed volley on the edge of the area sailed into the roof of the net to extinguish the possibility of extra-time.

And on 88 minutes, West ensured their place in the next round after Price added a second following a terrific solo-run from inside his own half before placing his shot towards the far post and into the bottom corner as they await their next opponents in Monday’s fourth round draw.

Next up for West is a return to Division One action as they travel to Sam Smith’s Park to take on Newcastle Benfield on Saturday.

AVRO – Latham, Poxon, Grimshaw, Howell, S. Rathbone (c), Shenton, Knott, J. Rathbone (Hanson, 71), Bevan, Stockdale, Wallwork (Norton, 62)

Subs not used – Jackson, Potts, Pollard

West Auckland – Bland, Hegarty, Price, Colquhoun, Hunter, Snaith (c), Dodds, Portas (Morris, 45) Dowson, Connor (Wearmouth, 75) Mitchell

Subs not used – Cobain, Bradley, Coulson

Goals – Snaith (83), Price (88)

Referee – Adam Brown

Attendance – 180

Report by Harry Crowe

Photo by Andy Mitchell. 

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