PRUDHOE YC Seniors booked their place in the quarter finals of the Northumberland FA Minor Cup after putting local rivals Hexham to the sword on Saturday. 

The match started in typical derby fashion, with both sides battling for supremacy, but after hosts Prudhoe took the lead through Arron Fletcher, they went on to win 4-1 at Kimberly Park. 

Hexham dangerman Dylan Mabunu caused havoc in the early stages, closing down the defence in a bid to stop Prudhoe playing the ball out from the back. 

The striker’s chasing almost paid off after 10 minutes, when he raced on to a sloppy back-pass, but he was bravely denied by the on-rushing home keeper Geoffrey Bowes.

Both sides had opportunities before some expansive attacking play from the hosts put the Hexham defence under pressure on 25 minutes, and Fletcher found the bottom corner from 20 yards to break the deadlock.

On the half hour mark, Hexham’s Owen Murtough attempted to connect with a cross from the right with an overhead kick, but before he could connect, the ball was fearlessly headed clear by Tony Wigham.

Kurtis Harvey and Will Forsyth combined for Hexham, before the former shot wide from 25 yards on 33 minutes. Shortly afterwards, Prudhoe almost doubled their lead when Kieran Russel’s knock-down header from a deep free-kick was not converted from close range. 

On 40 minutes, Hexham’s Mabunu ran onto a through-ball, but sliced his shot wide.
Hexham were made to pay for the missed opportunity, when Prudhoe made it 2-0.

Russel flicked-on a long Danny Driver throw-in from the left, and Fletcher headed the ball into the top corner from six yards.  

A moment of magic from Hexham’s Will Forsyth early in the second half reduced the deficit. The midfielder finished off a passing move by lobbing the goalkeeper from 30-yards. 

But any hopes of a comeback quickly faded, when Russel headed home from a corner to make it 3-1 on 50 minutes. 

Substitute Sam Moore completed the scoring for Prudhoe, when he rounded the keeper to make it 4-1 with 21 minutes to go.

Hexham had a penalty appeal turned down when Mabunu went down in the box after 88 minutes. 

But despite some brave defending by Andrew Below, and some good saves by keeper Thomas Craney, it wasn’t their day. 

The confident young Prudhoe side have scored plenty of goals in recent weeks, and they were rewarded for their attacking play and clinical finishing. 

Their reward will be a trip to Blyth Town on February 9 in the quarter-finals of the Minor Cup.