Thornaby FC 0-4 West Auckland Town
Adam Mitchell’s brace aswell as goals from Amar Purewal and James Xydias comfortably saw West Auckland progress to the Quarter-finals of the Brooks Mileson Memorial League Cup after a 4-0 victory against Division Two high flyers Thornaby.
Mitchell opened the scoring on 21 minutes with a low finish into the bottom corner following some great build up play from Purewal and Tom Price.
Purewal added a second on 38 minutes via a stunning strike from 22 yards out which left James Dawson rooted to the spot.
New Australian signing James Xydias grabbed West’s third after the interval before Mitchell finalised proceedings late on with a curling right-footed effort into the far corner to confirm their place in the next round.
West saw off last season’s champions Dunston UTS in the previous round with goals from Alex Francis and Adam Burnicle meanwhile their opponents Thornaby cruised past Jarrow 4-1.
With temperatures below freezing, it promised to be a chilly evening at Teesdale Park.
The first chance arrived for West inside six minutes when Xydias produced some lovely footwork to find space on the right-hand side and delivered a low cross into the middle for Purewal, who stretched but was unable to convert from close range.
Three minutes later, Arran Wearmouth outmuscled the hosts defence to have a clear sight at goal though he could only direct his effort over the bar much to the relief of the Thornaby technical area.
Paul Edwards side struggled to gain momentum and cause West any real threat as Kryan Clark’s first-time strike sailed wide.
However, West took advantage of their strong start and opened the scoring with a well-worked team move, starting with Price, who kept his composure and squared the ball to Purewal who with a clever flick, layered it off to Mitchell to calmly place his shot into the bottom corner for a deserving lead.
Approaching the half-hour mark, West were awarded a free-kick after Wearmouth was fouled, Francis stepped up and saw his right-footed effort well collected by Dawson.
Gary Forrest’s side doubled their lead with seven minutes before half-time following a spectacular finish 25-yards out from Purewal which flew in at the near post and left Thornaby’s No.1 stranded.
Xydias almost added a third on 43 minutes after he dragged his right-footed shot inches past the far post in what was another scare for the hosts.
Within seconds of getting back underway, Wearmouth’s sublime solo-run, in which he took on multiple Thornaby defenders, saw him pick out Xydias to grab his first goal for the club with a well-timed clinical finish underneath Dawson.
Despite having a three-goal lead, West searched for a fourth and on 52 minutes had two great opportunities to inflict more damage.
Firstly, Purewal sent his effort narrowly wide and Wearmouth was denied via a good block from Dawson.
Heading into 68 minutes, West were still in control of the tie and Purewal found himself in another goal-scoring position though was superbly kept out following some good reflexes from Dawson, who prevented the scoreline from becoming much greater.
In between the opposite sticks, it turned out to be a quiet evening for Shane Bland, who didn’t have to make a single save and was set to pick up a second consecutive clean-sheet in the League Cup.
Moments before the full-time whistle, Mitchell added his second of the evening, curling his right-footed effort into the far corner from 18-yards out to wrap up an impressive performance.
Next up for West is a tricky test away to Dunston UTS on Saturday, who remain unbeaten in Division One this season (15:00).
Thornaby – Dawson, Wilson, Jackson, Poole, Morrison, Crainey, Scaife-Wheatley (c), Burton, Roddam, Clark, Howes
Subs – Murphy, Foley, Simpson, Posthill
West Auckland – Bland, Hegarty (Cobain, 66), Price, Colquhoun, Hunter, Portas (c), Xydias (Bradley, 59), Francis, Wearmouth, Purewal, Mitchell
Subs not used – Morris, Dodds, Connor
Goals – Mitchell (21, 90), Purewal (38), Xydias (46)
Referee – James Westgate
Attendance – 118
Report by Harry Crowe
Photo by Andy Mitchell