Hebburn Town boss hails character as Hornets put FA Cup exit behind them

Hebburn Town manager Kevin Bolam hailed his side for putting their FA Cup exit behind them with an impressive home win against West Auckland Town.

Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 1:23 pm
Picture: Sean Harrison

The Hornets saw their dreams of a cup run ended by Northern Premier League North West Division club Pontefract Collieries after coming out on the wrong end of a penalty shoot-out at the Green Energy Sports Ground on Saturday.

That disappointment increased further when Monday’s first qualifying round draw revealed that Bolam’s side had missed out on an eye-catching trip to FC United of Manchester.

Tuesday night’s home game against West Auckland offered Hebburn a chance to move on and they grasped it with both hands after claiming a 4-0 win against Gary Forrest’s men.

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Veteran striker Graeme Armstrong continued his impressive start to the season with a brace and there was a goal apiece from Michael McKeown and Amar Purewal as Bolam’s men made it two wins from two in Northern League Division One.

After the game, the Hornets boss praised his players for improving after an underwhelming first-half display.

He told The Gazette: “We were delighted with the win and it was deserved.

“The pre-match team-talk was about how much West will improve because they have too much quality to be struggling at the wrong end of the table.

“We wanted to make sure that progression didn’t start against us and we knew that we had to be at it throughout the game.

“The lads have set standards that they didn’t reach in the first-half – but I was delighted with the reaction we got from them and the improvement that they showed during the second-half.

“I wasn’t necessarily disappointed with the performance on Saturday, but obviously the result wasn’t what we wanted.

“We made changed, but the side we put out against Pontefract was more than enough to win that game.

“However, we moved on from that and we improved against West Auckland to get the result and performance that we needed.”

Next up for Hebburn is a visit to Seaham Red Star for their third league game of the season on Saturday.