1874 NORTHWICH bowed out of the Division One Challenge Cup on Saturday after leaving themselves with too much to do.
Formby led 3-0 before the visitors rallied, creating chances to level before substitute Mark Kirby scored in stoppage time to earn the Squirrels a seventh successive win in all competitions.
There were few opportunities for either team in a bad-tempered opening period, Mike Brandon going closest for the visitors when he fired wide of an upright.
Formby edged ahead after half an hour, Kurt Sherlock shooting low past custodian Matt Conkie after Mini Adegbenro had pinched possession from Craig Farnworth.
Sherlock almost repeated the trick shortly afterwards, though this time 1874’s net-minder made a save.
Formby doubled their tally within four minutes of the second half starting, Adegbenro again supplying an assist for Sherlock to convert emphatically from close range.
A third goal followed within 60 seconds; Michael Aston, making his debut in midfield for Ian Street’s men, failed to cut out a pass intended for Jason Carey who made no mistake with his finish.
When Franny Smith fired with power against a post, the visitors risked a thrashing.
Their recovery started when Ryan Stewart drilled in from the edge of the box on 69 minutes, gathering momentum when substitute Rick Bailey scored from close range.
The same player sent an effort against the crossbar, while Stewart’s set piece was deflected by a defender to safety.
Kirby scuffed off target at the other end following a counter, but was less forgiving in added time when striking a rising shot past Conkie to settle the outcome.
The teams will meet again, in the League Challenge Cup last 16, later this month.
1874 Conkie (GK), Mitchell, Farnworth, Thomas, Duckworth, Wellstead, Aston (Bailey 76), Jones, Stewart, Ward (Lunn 67), Brandon Subs not used Crane, Woolley, McGregor