Two of our teams progressed to the first qualifying round of the FA Cup on an eventful night of football on Tuesday.
Stalybridge Celtic will host Marine on Saturday after coming from behind to see off a spirited West Didsbury & Chorlton with a 3-2 win, in front of 553 fans at Brookburn Road, in their preliminary-round replay.
After Ross Dent was initially credited with Celtic’s first goal, it was later awarded to Craig Hobson, meaning the striker netted a hat-trick to seal his side's progress.
In an entertaining first half, which saw two goals for both teams, Simon Haworth’s side fell behind to Matty Boland’s 10th-minute goal and, after two from Hobson, Lee Grimshaw levelled for the hosts.
But Hobson’s 56th-minute effort, initially ruled out for offside before the referee overruled the assistant referee, proved decisive as Celtic overcame their stubborn ninth-tier opponents after the original tie at Bower Fold ended goalless on 24 August.
Elsewhere, Glossop North End also had to produce a stirring comeback to beat Eccleshill United 3-1 and set up another home tie, against Pontefract Collieries in the next round on Saturday.
All of the goals at a rain-soaked Amdec Forklift Stadium came in the second half. The visitors went ahead on 51 minutes through Jonny Irving but Joel Mills struck a stunning 63rd-minute equaliser.
Jack Tuohy’s fourth goal of the season put the Hillmen in front and substitute Jordyn Fitton sealed their passage in the 89th minute.
Meanwhile, there was a thrilling night of FA Cup football at Seel Park as nine-man Mossley got back on level terms from being 2-0 down before being sunk by a dramatic injury-time winner for Widnes.
The visitors led at the break after a superb counter-attacking goal in the 10th minute, scored by Conor Ready.
Another breakaway saw James Steele increase their advantage on 56 minutes. It got worse for the Lilywhites when Ben Halfacre was sent off for retaliating after two players barged into him.
But they were back in the contest on the hour mark when Adam Morgan’s cross was headed home by Adam Jones.
The hosts continued to press and, just when it looked like their hopes had faded after Ryan Brooke also saw red for a late challenge, Morgan netted his fourth goal in two games with a superb turn and finish to equalise in the 90th minute and spark bedlam at Seel Park.
But just when the nine men had seemingly sent the tie to extra time, there was a heartbreaking late twist as Ready scored his second of the game deep into injury time to send Widnes through to play Whitby Town in Saturday’s first qualifying round tie.
Two of our sides were also in league action on Tuesday and there was a surprise defeat for Hyde United, who were beaten 2-0 at Witton Albion.
An early James Short strike and late effort from Danny McKenna saw the Tigers drop two places to fourth in the Northern Premier Division as their four-game winning run came to an end at Wincham Park.
Dave McGurk’s side now turn their attention to the FA Cup, as they travel to Morpeth Town on Saturday in the first qualifying round.
Elsewhere, Droylsden needed an 86th-minute equaliser from Rhys Clooney to salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Prescot Cables.
Dave Pace’s Bloods trailed to Mosopeoluwa Awe’s 12th-minute header but rescued a deserved draw from a scrappy game on a wet night at the Butchers Arms to move up to seventh in the North West Division.
TUESDAY'S RESULTS AT A GLANCE
FA Cup preliminary round replays
GLOSSOP NORTH END 3 Eccleshill United 1
MOSSLEY 2 Widnes 3
West Didsbury & Chorlton 2 STALYBRIDGE CELTIC 3
Northern Premier Division
Witton Albion 2 HYDE UNITED 0
North West Division
DROYLSDEN 1 Prescot Cables 1
Main image by Steve Dyson