Upsets were few and far between in Saturday`s Buildbase FA Trophy Second Round, with most of the `big boys` surviving – some against potential banana skins.
Vanarama National League strugglers Chester FC can now concentrate on attempting to avoid relegation after bowing out of the competition at the FutureFuel Stadium against Nationbal League South side East Thurrock United.
Calvin Ekpetita’s goal on 17 minutes separated the sides, but had it not been for the heroics of Sam Hornby it could have been a much heavier defeat for the visitors.
And a bad day for Marcus Bignot`s side got even worse when they had new signing Gary Roberts sent-off just 10 minutes into his debut for a reckless challenge.
Like Chester, Solihull Moors are facing a battle to stay in the top level of non-League football and can also concentrate their efforts on survival after losing 2-0 at the Brewery Field to National League North side Spennymoor Town.
A goal in the 34th minute from Mark Anderson and a second for Andrew Johnson on 79 minutes rounded off a dominant showing for the north-east outfit.
It was very much a case of results as expected elsewhere, although National league side Ebbsfleet United and National League South outfit Weston-super-Mare both face tricky away replays after only managing home draws on Saturday.
Fleet were not at their best as they were held to a 1-1 Stonebridge Road draw by Evo-Stik League Premier promotion-chasers Warrington Town.
Warrington took the lead 7 minutes from time through sub Ged Kinsella.
But 3 minutes into stoppage time, Sean Shields grabbed a dramatic equaliser to force a replay at Cantilever Park on Tuesday night.
Weston face the long, long midweek trek to Cumbria after being held by Warrington`s league rivals Workington AFC by the same scoreline at the Woodspring Stadium.
Jarrad Welch gave the Seasiders a 15th minute lead.
But the Reds earned a second crack with a Scott Allison leveller on 67 minutes.
National League Maidstone United were pushed all the way before edging out Bostik League North outfit Heybridge Swifts – the lowest-ranked side left in the competition – 2-1 at the Gallagher Stadium.
Darius Osei added to Jamar Loza’s 29th minute opener just before half-time as the Stones dominated the opening half.
But Swifts set up a nervy finish when Juan Luque replied 10 minutes from time.
Maidstone`s Kent league rivals Dover Athletic were also pushed by Evo-Stik League Premier strugglers Marine AFC at Crabble before winning by the odd goal in seven.
Four different Dover players got on the scoresheet for the Whites, with Manny Parry after 6 minutes and Ryan Bird giving them a 2-1 lead going into half-time, Danny Mitchley`s penalty on 10 minutes giving the Mariners hope.
Mitch Pinnock made it 3-1 after 53 minutes, with Mitchley again netting a spot-kick to reduce the deficit to one on 75 minutes, only for Mitch Brundle’s strike to make it 4-2 in the 82nd minute.
The Whites survived a late scare after Michael Brewster scored a third for the visitors 4 minutes from the end.
National League South side Wealdstone, former winners of the competition, were also made to scrap for their place in the Third Round against Evo-Stik League South Premier promotion-chasers Hereford FC at Grosvenor Vale.
A crowd of 909 containing a healthy number of visiting fans saw Ricky Wellard score the only goal of the game in the 26th minute.
Shortly afterwards, The Bulls` Dara O’Shea saw red for the second time in his second game since arriving on loan from West Brom!
Sutton United, chasing promotion from the National League, certainly took their tie at Gander Green Lane against Bostik League Premier side Hendon seriously, and sailed through 3-0.
The U`s took a 36th minute lead when Kieron Cadogan pounced on a poor pass out of the Hendon defence and fired a low shot past ‘keeper Corey Addai.
And then on 74 minutes it was 2-0 when Adam Coombes connected sweetly to volley home.
Four minutes from the end, the tie was put to bed when Tommy Wright scored his 6th goal in three games with a fine strike from 25 yards.
Sutton`s league rivals Leyton Orient needed extra-time before knocking out National League South strugglers Bognor Regis Town at Nyewood Lane.
The major talking point of the first hour was the 59th minute dismissal of Bognor`s French debutant Richard Gilot for a second bookable offence.
The O’s went down to ten-men as well as Joe Widdowson collected his second yellow card for a foul on the edge of the box. However, the deadlock was broken when the visitor` Macauley Bonne headed home from close range in the 83rd minute.
The home side equalised with just 2 minutes to go as Jack Caprice sliced a clearance and it fell to Jimmy Muitt, whose driven effort soared into the top corner and send the game to extra-time.
What proved to be the winner came in the 105th minute when Dan Happe saw his header cleared off the line before the ball found itself at the feet of sub Josh Koroma and he curled past Dan Lincoln from 25 yards.
National League North side Blyth Spartans bowed out 2-1 at Croft Park against National League outfit Bromley.
Bromley advanced with braces from Josh Rees and Louis Dennis, Greg Rutherford got Blyth’s reply.
Joe Leesley’s 93rd minute equaliser ensured Blyth`s league rivals Harrogate Town remain in the Trophy after a 1-1 draw at Clarence Park against National League South side St Albans City.
St Albans took the lead in the 66th minute when Tom Bender climbed highest to head into the bottom left corner from a set-piece, and looked good value for their lead.
With almost the last kick of the game, sub Dom Knowles held the ball up and was able to tee-up Leesley to smash home and send the tie to a replay.
Harrogate`s promotion rivals Brackley Town face the long trek to take on Barrow AFC for Tuesday’s replay.
The Saints were unable to break the stalemate in Saturday’s tie at St James`s Park which ended 0-0.
In all-National League ties, FC Halifax Town were knocked out after crashing to a 4-1 defeat to Maidenhead United at The Shay.
Matty Kosylo scored inside the first minute for the Shaymen, but a brace from Moses Emmanuel and another two from Harry Pritchard sealed Halifax’s exit.
One has to feel for Gateshead`s Jordan Burrow as he netted a Trophy hat-trick – but didn`t end up on the winning side as the Tynesiders will now have to travel south to play Boreham Wood in a replay after a 3-3 thriller at the International Stadium.
Wood raced into a 2-0 lead with goals in the 51st and 55th minutes from Kieran Murtagh and Kane Smith respectively.
Burrow then went on to complete his triple to put Gateshead in front in the 77th, 83rd and then 2 minutes into stoppage time.
However, 3 minutes on and Wood were awarded a penalty when Theo Vassell was adjudged to have fouled Bruno Andrade, who dusted himself down to convert the resulting spot-kick.
An all-National League North ties saw Kidderminster Harriers recover from a two-goal deficit to earn a replay from another thrilling encounter with Stockport County at Aggborough.
Kidderminster found themselves with work to do after Jason Oswell and Darren Stephenson struck in either half.
However, Fraser Horsfall, who later saw red late on, and sub Mani Sonupe found the net as the hosts recovered to keep their fourteen-game unbeaten run intact.
The contest also saw Sonupe fail from the spot early in the second half as well as Harriers passing up late chances to snatch a winner.
The only tie not to involve a side from the top three divisions saw Bostik Premier high-flyers Billericay Town edge through by the odd goal in five at New Lodge against Evo-Stik League Premier Stourbridge.
Prolific marksman Jake Robinson gave the home side a 19th minute lead they took into hlf-time.
But the Glassboys raced into a 2-1 lead with goals from Leon Broadhurst after 47 minutes and Stuart Pierpoint 3 minutes later.
Ricky Modeste equalised on 66 minutes and then, just as many home fans were looking at maps of how to get to Stourbridge for the replay, up popped sub Billy Bricknell to win it for Billericay in stoppage time.