Challenge Cup Winners 2024

Durham FA Challenge Cup Match Report

West Auckland are the 2024 Challenge Cup Winners after a 3-0 triumph over Whickham 

Match report - west auckland vs whickham

West Auckland are the 2024 Durham Challenge Cup Winners after a 3-0 win vs Whickham at the Stadium of Light 

West Auckland Town 3–0 Whickham FC 

West Auckland Town beat Whickham 3-0 at the Stadium of Light to claim the 2024 Durham County FA ‘Frank Pattison’ Challenge Cup on Wednesday night. 

First-half goals from Josh Scott and James Harrison put Gary Forrest’s side on their way to their second Challenge Cup in four seasons, before a second-half strike from Oscar Fletcher sealed their fate. 

West Auckland made one change from Saturday’s 4-1 win over Whitley Bay, with Harrison replacing Adam Mitchell in the starting 11. 

For Whickham, they made three alterations from their draw with West Allotment Celtic on Friday night, but the Northern League Division One top scorer, Scott Robson, started for the Lang Jacks. 

And it was Lee Haldane’s side who began the stronger, seeing a lot of possession, but West Auckland had the game’s first real opportunity, as the league’s second top-scorer, Josh Scott, uncharacteristically dragged an effort wide of the right post. 

It was an end-to-end opening to the final, with both sides having some great chances to draw first blood. 

Robson’s header looped over the crossbar, before Gary Brown’s challenge almost certainly denied the Whickham striker from giving his side the lead, after being set free in behind the West Auckland defence. 

However, with just over 20 minutes on the clock, it was West Auckland who took the lead.  

A through ball was sent straight into the path of Scott, who side-footed the ball past Neil Bussey and into the bottom left corner. 

However, the response from the side lower in Division One was positive and should have levelled things but the ball didn’t set up right for Robson, and his effort bounced narrowly wide of the right post. 

Yet, after qualifying for the Division One play-offs earlier in the week, West Auckland seemed to step closer to the Challenge Cup trophy, as they doubled their lead. 

After coming into the side, Harrison produced a beautiful turn to evade a Whickham body outside of the penalty area, before driving goalwards and smashing a finish past a helpless Bussey to send West Auckland into the half-time break with a two-goal advantage. 

The second half began in a slower fashion than the first with Whickham making two changes early in the half to try and turn the West Auckland advantage around. 

Robson’s shot was arrowed wide of the left post, before Forrest’s side had two chances of their own; both falling to Fletcher, but after his first effort was deflected wide, his second chance, shortly after, was palmed around the post by Bussey. 

Scott came close to adding his second of the evening just after the hour-mark, but Dom Agnew made a game-saving recovery to block the striker’s effort and keep his side in the final. 

However, with around 15 minutes left, the ‘Frank Pattison’ Challenge Cup final was sealed as Fletcher rifled a low effort into the bottom right corner. 

Whickham showed glimpses of netting a late consolation, as Nathan Stephenson’s long-range effort clipped the top of the woodwork, but West Auckland’s second ‘Frank Pattison’ Challenge Cup in four seasons was sealed.

Challenge Cup Winners 2024

West Auckland: Liversedge, Hume (Hegarty 65’), Hope, Wood, Brown, Potter ©, Harrison (Cocks 81’), Bailey, Scott, Fletcher (Herron 85’), Greenwood (Nicholson 72’) 

Whickham: Bussey, Mundo ©, Galbraith (Bisset 57’), Agnew, Lavery, Stephenson (Davies 87’), Howard, Elliott (Burrell 45’), Robson, Thomas (Johnson 62’), Leech (Martindale 87’)