Hemsworth MW are on a roll again in the FA Vase following a memorable victory over 10 times FA Amateur Cup winners Bishop Auckland last Saturday.
Wayne Benn’s men came from 2-1 down to win 3-2 against one of the most famous clubs in non-league football and they now advance to the second round when they have been drawn away to Irlam.
It was an against the odds victory in more ways than one as Wells took a depleted squad up to the north east, but their notable team spirit shone through.
They were given a dream start with Nash Connolly tapping in to finish off some neat build-up play down the left to open the scoring after 18 minutes and show their hosts that they had not made the travel just to make the numbers up.
But Bishop Auckland were given a penalty nine minutes later for a mistimed tackle in the area and Andrew Johnson beat Danny Rusling from the spot to level the tie up.
Another spot kick quickly followed for handball from a home corner, but this time Johnson blazed his penalty over to the relief of the visitors.
That relief did not last long as Johnson saw a shot parried by Rusling, but Chris Winn beat two defenders to reach the rebound and make it 2-1 to the home team.
A brilliant response quietened many of the 327-strong crowd, however, as Seon Ripley ensured Hemsworth would not go in behind at the break with his sixth goal of the season as he latched on to an underhit back pass to round the keeper.
In the second half Bishop Auckland went close when their right side attacker sent a shot inches wide after getting in behind the visitors’ defence.
Jason Yates went close with a good strike from outside the box for Hemsworth before Richard Collier and Connolly were both denied by the home keeper.
Connolly was only denied his second by a superb acrobatic save after he met Sam Leach’s cross with a strong header.
But Wells came up with the winner 10 minutes from time when Ripley combined well with Yates to net again from the just inside the area.
They had to cling on to defend the lead in a tense finish to the game, with keeper Rusling forced into making two saves, but had done enough to earn a little bit of history for the club.
Manager Benn was understandably delighted at the result, which will live up there with the best in his time in charge.
He said: “I’m so proud of my players.
“We have gone to a famous non-league club with players missing through injury and unavailability – we had two substitutes, neither of whom were fit and could only have gone on the pitch if required – and we have been magnificent.
“Not many would have fancied us today and even more so when the teams were announced. But the togetherness, the spirit and the quality shone through and we were well worth the win in my opinion.”
Hemsworth have a break now with their next game back in the NCE League away to Bridlington Town on Saturday, October 27. Last weekend’s results saw them drop down to third in the Premier Division.