Crook Town 3-1 West Auckland Town
Goals either half from Chris Dickinson, Jonathan Hope and Daniel Kent helped Division Two side Crook Town claim a spectacular pre-season victory over West Auckland Town.
Nathan Fisher grabbed a late consolation on 87 minutes though it could not prevent West from slipping to their second defeat in pre-season after a disappointing performance at The Sir Tom Cowie Millfield ground.
It didn’t take long for Crook to make a good impression in front of their home supporters as Dickinson was presented with a tap in inside 10 minutes after Joey Smith instinctively rounded veteran goalkeeper Mark Bell on the right-hand side after a mistake in defence.
West looked for a reaction to going behind early on and in hot and humid conditions, came fingertips away from bringing the scores level on 22 minutes as Adam Burnicle’s clever flick in the 18-yard box found Fisher, who sliced his effort agonisingly past the post.
Throughout the first-half, Jamie Tunstall’s side were the more threatening going forward, keeping West on their toes as Bell was the busier keeper out of the two.
With Liam Hegarty and David Dowson both taken off as a precaution with slight knocks, West were left with further frustration as chances from Burnicle, Alex Francis and substitute Amar Purewal were all squandered.
More bad news would follow for Brian Atkinson’s side in the 72nd minute as Crook doubled their lead following a delightful ball from Lee Hume into the path of Hope, who confidently rolled it into the bottom corner, wrong-footing Bell along the way.
Soon two would become three as just eight minutes later, West were left stunned as Kent got on the end of Hume’s pin-point corner with a towering header as Crook showcased their cutting edge.
Despite being wasteful with their opportunities, West grabbed a late goal in the closing moments as Ross Colquhoun’s deflected shot found Fisher and the former Gateshead, Darlington, Consett and Spennymoor striker remained calm before placing it into the net to conclude a distasteful defeat.
West Auckland Town – M. Bell, Ellison, Colquhoun, Hunter, Hegarty (Trialist, 26), Dodds (c), Francis, Mitchell (Trialist, 78), Dowson (Purewal, 45), Burnicle (Trialist, 69), Fisher
Subs not used – Connor, Coulson
Goals (Crook Town) – Dickinson (10), Hope (72), Kent (80)
Goal (West) – Fisher (87)
Report by Harry Crowe