Warrington Town bowed out of the Cheshire Senior Cup after losing on penalties at Stalybridge Celtic.
Having come from behind in the second half, the Yellows held on valiantly with nine men to force penalties, with Teddy Mfuni and Josh Amis both sent off inside the final 15 minutes.
However, Celtic goalkeeper Greg Hall saved Sean Williams’ spot-kick, before Theo Bailey-Jones netted the decisive penalty to send the hosts through to the next round of the competition.
Mark Beesley named a strong starting XI for the tie, with Bohan Dixon making his first start since returning from suspension and Andy White, Dec Walker, Teddy Mfuni and Josh Amis also coming into the side following Saturday’s 3-1 win over Matlock Town.
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A frantic first half ended goalless, with Matty Carson’s cross striking the crossbar early on and Stefan Mols forcing Hall into a fine save, with his free-kick destined for the top corner.
Nine minutes after half-time, the hosts took the lead after a good counter-attack ended with Carson firing past Tony Thompson to break the deadlock.
However, the lead lasted less than two minutes as Amis converted well, heading home from close range after Connor Woods’ excellent cross to the back post.
Town were reduced to 10 men with 15 minutes to go as Mfuni picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Tom Miller.
And Josh Amis was sent off eight minutes later after appearing to land on Scott Holding in the act of shooting, with home ‘keeper Hall only shown a yellow card, despite appearing to push Amis to ground in the ensuing melee.
The hosts almost won the game in second-half stoppage time when Ethan Padden’s shot deflected wide, but the Yellows stood firm to take the tie to penalties.
After seven flawless spot-kicks, Williams couldn’t find the beating of Hall, with Bailey-Jones netting the decisive penalty to book Celtic’s place in the next round of the competition.
Attention now turns to Saturday as South Shields visit Cantilever Park in the first round of the FA Trophy.
Stalybridge Celtic: Hall, Miller, Carson (Chakwana), Holding, Waldron, Yoak, Grewal (Bailey-Jones), Padden, Dangana (Liptrott), Rouse, Caine. Unused subs: Abadaki, Leach.
Warrington Town: Thompson, Seary (Clarke), White, Duggan, Mfuni, Walker, Mols (Gumbs), McDonald (Williams), Amis, Dixon, Woods. Unused subs: Harris