Defender Carl Jones blasted Shildon into the semi finals of the Durham Challenge Cup with his first goal of the season in another dramatic extra time win for the Railwaymen.
The home side came from a goal behind at half time to march on in the cup where they will host Consett at Dean Street for a place in the final. Shildon, who were knocked out at the semi-final stage last season by FA Vase winners, Spennymoor Town, last won the tournament in 1972.
On a heavy, bumpy surface, it was the visitors who took the lead when Bulford converted after replacement goalkeeper, Keith Finch’s tipped save onto the bar rebounded kindly for the Dunston player, who had the simple task of converting from six yards. Finch was deputising for Lewis Graham, who is serving a two match suspension after his red card at Celtic Nation.
After the break, Shildon took the game to the opposition and were rewarded for their persistence when Mark Hudson found Sam Garvie with a neatly lobbed through ball on 65 minutes, the striker finishing well first time from the edge of the box.
The game flowed from end to end with both sides having chances to win the tie before the extra time period, but neither could find the decisive goal.
And so it was a third extra time period in the Railwaymen’s three rounds of the Durham Challenge Cup so far this season. Both sides continued to press, but it was the home side who made the breakthrough in the 100th minute. A shot from distance by captain, Mark Hudson was tipped away for a corner, which was taken quickly. Ben Wood turned his marker on the by line before sending over a ball which defender Carl Jones swept emphatically home.
But there remained time for controversy when Darren Richardson, who had been booked earlier in the game, was shown his second yellow card on the stroke of half time in extra time. The defender appeared to have eyes only for the ball, but the referee sent him from the field after his high boot connected with his opponent. Shildon Assistant Manager, Stuart Niven was also sent from the dugout for remonstrating with the referee.
The Railwaymen were forced to play the final period of extra time with ten men – the third match in a row in which they have ended the game with reduced numbers – but the ten men held on for a hard fought win.
Shildon will now face Consett at Dean Street for a place in the final, with West Auckland and Spennymoor contesting the other semi final.