Extra-time goal clinches Vase tie

James Rushton-Woods in action against Irlam.
James Rushton-Woods in action against Irlam.

St Helens Town advanced to the second qualifying round of the FA Vase at Irlam but they made the task hard for themselves - they could and should have advanced without the need for an extra half an hour.

After a dour first period where neither team seemed to have a cutting edge in the final third a brace of corner for Town right at the end of the half saw us take the lead.

The corner was flighted into the box from the right wing and Nathan Ogden rose highest to head the corner goalwards an Irlam defender headed the ball away from goal but the assistant referee adjudged the ball to have crossed the line and a goal was awarded.

Town started the second half brightly James Rushton-Woods had an effort that beat the keeper but struck the cross bar and we cleared.

Then Karl Bergqvist beat the keeper but his effort was cleared off the line.

A counter attack by the hosts saw an effort from Gary Prescott struck the post and was cleared.

As the half wore came to its conclusion an effort from Bergqvist was well saved by Lee White in the home goal and Irlam levelled eight minutes from time when a free kick was headed goalwards by Isaac Illidge with the effort parried by Rory Crowther in the Town goal and Steven Mills was on hand to turn the ball home.

Town could have won the game before the end of normal time with White denying Bergqvist and substitute Chad Whyte being cynically brought down by Mills when through on goal and he was red carded and from the free kick the home stopper saved well from Rushton-Woods.

Ten minutes into extra time Town netted what was to be the winner when a free kick found Aaron Morris on the left post and he headed across goal for Bergqvist to steer the ball home.

There was one last chance for White to win his personal duel with Rushton-Woods as he denied the Town man for a third occasion this time from the edge of the box.

Town’s attention turn back to league action as they host AFC Liverpool on Saturday kick off 3pm before welcoming Runcorn Linnets to Brocstedes Park the next Tuesday with a 7.45pm kick off.