Moors secured their place in Round Three of the FA Trophy but their victory over Runcorn Linnets at The Brewery Field was not without its complications.
Jason Ainsley’s side looked to be on course for a routine win when they took a 3-1 lead into the break, but an early goal after the restart made things interesting as Linnets piled on the pressure during a nerve wracking second half.
Moors had got off to the perfect start when good work down the left from Rob Ramshaw led to Glen Taylor driving home an opening goal after just 70 second of the Second Round contest.
However, Linnets – playing at this stage of the competition for the first time in their history – came back fighting to level things up with a neat move finished off by Ryan Brooke.
Ainsley’s side wrestled back the initiative and re-established their lead on 27 minutes when a ball fell kindly for Mark Anderson 25 yards from goal, and he curled a wonderful shot beyond the despairing dive of Linnets keeper Danny Taberner.
Things got even better for Moors when John Lufudu did well down the right to feed Ramshaw and his low ball into the front post was delightfully swept home first time by Paul Blackett for his first goal since joining the Club.
However, a bad backpass just 20 seconds into the second half gave Jamie Rainford the opportunity to pull one back as he prodded past the exposed Harry Flatters for 3-2.
The Moors keeper then had to stretch to make a brilliant save to prevent Brooke’s dipping free kick from finding the net, whilst he also spread himself well to deny Rainford a second as the visitors piled on the pressure.
Anderson and Taylor both fired shots over at the other end as Moors looked to finish things off on the counter, but the Linnets enjoyed more second half possession.
However, Dave Wild’s men were unable to find another route to goal and it will be Moors who have their name in the hat for Round Three.
Full Time: Moors 3 Runcorn Linnets 2
Moors: Flatters, Lufudu, Cousin-Dawson (Tait 69), Curtis, Ledger, Allan, Anderson, Boyle, Ramshaw, Blackett (Greenfield 46), Taylor.
Subs not used: Bellagambi, Diallo, Wheatley, Mouat, Chandler.
Booked: Taylor, Ramshaw, Boyle.
Runcorn Linnets: Taberner, Brown, Short, Clarke (Olarewaju 46), O’Mahony, Heathcote, Sanogo-Fafana, Hayes (Moore 46), Rainford, Brooke, Gumbs.
Subs not used: Clifton, Roberts, Holden, Moseley.
Booked: Hayes, O’Mahony.
Referee: Jack Hall