IN the end, 1874 Northwich got what they wanted.

A winning start, and with it a place in the FA Cup preliminary round, was top of a ‘to do’ list.

Lots of other boxes will have been left unticked though after a scruffy performance.

High temperatures led to low intensity, and they toiled for the most part. 

Visitors Barnton, resilient in defence while largely invisible in attack, will feel rueful when they reflect.

After being gifted an equaliser by goalkeeper Greg Hall’s gaffe - Pete Aidley’s smart finish cancelling out Danny Thomas’ opener - they appeared on course for a replay.

That outcome felt even more likely when Neil Chappell was sent off after childishly clipping Villagers captain Jon Shakeshaft around the ear.

However a handball by substitute Ryan Greene, with no 1874 player near him, conceded a cheap penalty.

The price was high - £1,500 in prize money to be precise – for Tom Bailey steered in the resulting spot kick.

Job done, and a trip to Colne booked.

Northwich manager Ian Street said afterwards that Matthew Conkie, his former custodian, had been busier than Hall.

He was right, and the hosts will make a case they deserve to progress as a result.

They were far from fluid though.

Bailey had a single glimpse of goal in the first half, but Conkie saved smartly to his left.

After that, the front man was shackled by a backline led ably by Shakeshaft and Ryan Broadhead.

When they did break through, after 21 minutes, it was Thomas who met Eddie Moran’s free kick – misjudged by Conkie who left his line – with a thumping downward header.

Neither defence had much danger to deal with afterwards, until Hall needlessly created some that is.

1874's net-minder took possession outside of his area, only to kick the ball straight to Aidley when he came under pressure.

Staying composed, the midfielder duly clipped it into the unguarded goal.

Barnton’s celebrations demonstrated just how much they couldn’t believe their luck.

The home team improved after the interval, when Stuart Wellstead prompted a brave block from Conkie and Moran fizzed an attempt over following smart approach play by Bailey.

Shakeshaft threw himself in the way of Sam Hind’s angled attempt, then Jack Warren smuggled another Thomas header off the line from the resulting corner.

That momentum had dissipated though by the time Chappell’s impudence – flicking Shakeshaft’s glasses off his head after the pair grappled for the ball – earned him a red card.

Conkie then defied his former teammates again when he shuffled to his right to divert Ryan Mitchell’s header.

Barnton were only 10 minutes from securing a second crack at 1874 on Monday when Greene brushed a bouncing ball with his arm.

Bailey’s penalty, directed well, just about had enough power to squirm into the bottom corner despite Conkie’s touch.

“I think we did enough,” said Street.

His new-look side, which included four debutants, will need to do more – much more – to trouble their old foes at the next stage.

He added: “We’ll be better by then, I promise you.”

1874 | 4-3-3 | Hall (GK), Connor, Mitchell, Thomas, Russell, Chappell, Kirk (Rick Bailey 69), Moran, Wellstead, Tom Bailey, Hind (McGowan 83) Subs not used Matthew Woolley, Jack Woolley, Welsh, Walker Goals Thomas 21, Tom Bailey 80 (penalty) Booked Kirk Sent off Chappell

Barnton | 4-4-2 | Conkie (GK), McKay, Shakeshaft, Broadhead, Williams, Bandell (Greene 64), Warren (Hughes 81), Aidley, Houghton (Crofts 84), Vaughan, Smith Subs not used Muscart, Yarwood Goal Aidley 43 Booked Aidley, Broadhead, Warren, Shakeshaft

Referee Richard Abson

Attendance 360