Shildon progressed to the Preliminary round of the FA Cup by thrashing Crook Town 7-0 at Dean Street. The Railwaymen have started the season in great form, recording 3 wins, keeping two clean sheets and scoring 15 goals in their first three games.
Shildon’s great day nearly got off to an inauspicious start when, after 3 minutes, Crook’s Scott Swanston shot narrowly wide from a free kick. For the next twenty minutes both sides fought for midfield dominance, and there was little sign of what was to follow until Shildon took the lead through summer signing Adam Rundle on 25 minutes.
Shildon doubled their lead within 3 minutes with a fantastic goal from Michael Rae. Rae collected the ball on the edge of the box before deftly side-stepping the Crook defender and firing a well-hit shot high into the net past Jak Wells in the Black and Ambers’ net to register his first goal of the season.
The Railwaymen made it 3-0 from a free kick on 38 minutes. The set piece was awarded after a foul on Ben Wood near the corner of the area and it was Rae who smashed the ball in to double his tally.
After the third goal, Crook rallied a little and gave Shildon a scare. First, a Crook break saw no. 4, David Webster, shoot high and wide. With half-time approaching Shildon could be forgiven for sitting back a little and keeping their 3 goal advantage for the second half. Shildon, instead, went for a fourth, which they grabbed courtesy of a drilled, 18 yard effort from Ben Wood in the 44th minute.
Half time: Shildon 4 – Crook Town 0.
Shortly after the second half kicked off Shildon had a chance to add to their lead when they were awarded a free kick near the box. Craig Ruddy delivered the ball for Michael Rae, found the net with his head to get his hat-trick and Shildon’s fifth on 50 minutes.
The game, finished as a meaningful contest, saw little of note until the 65th minute when substitute Chris Emms went on a jinking run, beating three men, only to be denied a wonderful solo goal by the woodwork, Rae was unable to convert the rebound.
Shildon came close again on 73 minutes, Emms’ cross found Billy Greulich who headed just wide. The 78th minute saw Shildon grab their sixth goal of the game. Sam Garvie’s run into the box was cut short by a foul, Hudson converted the resulting penalty.
Crook’s miserable day was made even worse when they conceded an own-goal in the 89th minute. Shildon, however, were delighted to progress to the next round of the cup in style.
Shildon’s reward for beating Crook is an away tie to Padiham of the Evo Stik North league. The fixture will take place on Saturday 30th August.