Published 31st March 2012
....Semi-Final second legs on Saturday.
West Auckland Town came from a goal behind to win 2-1 at home to Kent Hurlimann League side Herne Bay in their second leg, while Dunston UTS drew 2-2 at Baris Northern Counties East Leaguers Staveley Miners Welfare, winning the tie 3-2 on aggregate.
West Auckland fell behind in the first 8 minutes when a free-kick into their area was met with a thundering drive from Herne Bay left-back Tom Bryant.
The home team pulled level in the 32nd minute through striker Michael Rae, who had put West ahead in the first leg in Kent last week, which finished 2-2. Rae found himself in a one-on-one situation with Bay’s keeper, but he kept his composure and rolled the ball into the net.
And 5 minutes later Rae bagged his and West Auckland’s second of the game, latching onto a neat reverse pass from his strike partner and team captain Mattie Moffat and again sliding the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.
Rae could have had a hat-trick in first half stoppage time but his header thudded off the post.
Herne Bay were also frustrated by the woodwork minutes into the second half when the ball bounced off the underside of the bar.
The home fans had to endure 6 tense minutes of injury-time at the end of the second half, but when the referee finally blew the whistle they got their chance to take to the field, as supporters young and old charged onto the pitch to hug and hail the West Auckland heroes.
West Auckland`s Northern League First Division rivals Dunston took a 1-0 lead from the first leg to north Derbyshire.
But Staveley took the lead in the 6th minutes of the second leg through Simon Barraclough, but Dunston equalised 9 minutes later through top marksman Andy Bulford.
The home side took the lead for a second time after 37 minutes through Chris Coy but with only 4 minutes remaining, Dunston equalised again, courtesy of Stephen Goddard, setting up the North East finale at Wembley on Sunday, May 13th.