An 89th minute goal from Ryan Mitchell sealed Hallmark Security League side 1874 Northwich’s place in the last eight of the Buildbase FA Vase after a close fought Fifth Round tie against Southern Combination Leaguers Chichester City at Wincham Park on Saturday.
From the early stages, it had the look of a game that could well be decided by a single goal, and so it proved, with the big 1874 centre-half once more showing his penchant for scoring late winners.
Mitchell struck in stoppage time for the Greens at Maine Road two weeks ago to seal a last-gasp victory, and once again proved his worth as a game changer when he got on the end of an in-swinging corner to bundle the ball in from a couple of yards out.
All three of the clubs representing the Uhlsport Hellenic League will be in tomorrow’s quarter-final draw.
At Pack Meadow the tie between Bracknell Town and Midland League side Coleshill Town was 1-1 after 90 minutes of normal play with goals from Reece Leek for the hosts and Seb Bowerman for the Robins.
Bracknell took control of the 30 minutes of extra-time scoring three through Adam Cornell, Joe Grant and Bowerman again and providing the home team with a Carl Davies own goal.
Witnessed by a crowd of over 700, Thatcham Town scored twice against another Midland League outfit, Bromsgrove Sporting, to take a 2-1 lead into the break at Waterside Park with a brace from Ekow Elliott.
But were pegged back to a single goal lead when keeper Chris Rackley committed a foul which Richard Gregory converted from the spot.
A goalless second half followed but Thatcham remained in charge.
In front of a 625 crowd, Windsor FC were always comfortable over Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) Premier side Hamble Club at Stag Meadow with goals either side of the break from Riccardo Cannon and man-of-the-match Jack Denton.
In front of a four-figure attendance at the Oakfield Stadium, Toolstation Western Leaguers Melksham Town reached the quarter-finals following a 2-1 win against Spartan South Midlands League side Tring Athletic.
It took just 6 minutes for Melksham to break the deadlock when Rob Brown’s free-kick found its way to the far post via Gary Higdon allowing Mike Perrott to head home.
It got even better for the home side 9 minutes later when Rob Hobbs became the second man to score with his head following another flick-on by Higdon at a set-piece.
Tring pulled a goal back 4 minutes before half-time through Luke Dunstan, but the second half was a goalless one which saw Melksham progress to the last eight of the competition, meaning they are just 180 minutes away from a date at Wembley.
Ebac Northern League First Division Marske United lived up to their Vase favourites tag when they beat Western League side Bradford Town 2-0 to clinch a quarter-final place.
It took them most of the first half to get going on a heavy pitch, but once Danny Earl gave them the lead, they powered their way to victory.
Manager Carl Jarrett said; “We didn’t get our foot on the ball in the opening stages and we made a lot of mistakes, but we got a grip on the game when we took the lead.
“After that, we maybe should have scored more than just a second, because we created quite a few chances, but considering that we had only played one game since the last round, we’re happy with the performance.
“I don’t mind who we play in the next round, as long as we play on a good surface.”
Marske took the lead on 22 minutes when Danny Earl tapped in a low shot by Chay Liddle, and after they missed a few chances, Earl got his second with an overhead kick from a Curtis Round cross.
Marske are in the quarter-finals for the third time in their history.
There’s a good possibility of an all Teesside final, because Stockton Town, in only their second Vase competition, beat Midland League outfit Stourport Swifts 3-0 at Bishopton Road West.
Manager Micky Dunwell said; “We’re in dreamland, we’ve passed everyone’s expectations this season. Over 600 teams entered this competition, and here we are in the last eight, just three matches away from Wembley.
“It’s just a couple of years ago we were playing in the Wearside League in front of a couple of dozen people. Everyone at the club is delighted.
“It took us a while to get going in the game, but once we scored, it was one-way traffic.”
They took the lead just before half-time when Kevin Hayes knocked the ball home after Jamie Owens chipped the keeper, and in the second half Owens turned poacher.
He scored the second after Chris Stockton’s shot was parried by the keeper, and another when he finished off one of the best moves of the game.