WAYNE Goodison asked for the real 1874 Northwich to take to the field for an FA Cup clash with Burscough.

They did, although fashionably late.

The co-manager will not have appreciated the visitors gifting to another opponent a two-goal head-start.

That they did so by committing glaring errors in defence, just as they had during a 6-3 defeat against City of Liverpool seven days earlier, was infuriating for their followers.

Not that the Linnets cared; bruised still from a six-goal hiding of their own at Squires Gate in midweek, they could barely believe their luck.

Terry Cummings was alert to pick Matthew Woolley’s pocket when 1874’s captain attempted to tame a bouncing ball in the third minute, and served Chad Whyte who opened the scoring.

Goalkeeper Matthew Green, making his debut, then had to tip over Johny Brannigan’s dipping shot.

A second Burscough goal arrived anyway on 14 minutes, this time after Matty Russell and Jack Pritchard both delayed attempting an interception for long enough for Cummings to dart between them.

His finish was similarly efficient.

Briefly, 1874 looked dazed.

Next to nothing was going to plan; passes were hit too strongly or without enough power, second-balls went their opponents’ way and they lacked cohesion.

Through gritted teeth, they slowly recovered.

Ryan Mitchell’s header from Callum Gardner’s corner skimmed wide of an upright, and Scott McGowan’s attempt was blocked by Luke Gibson’s boot.

At the other end, Whyte shot feebly at Green after pinching possession from Mitchell.

1874 received another indication that their luck was changing when Woolley halved their arrears, steering the ball past custodian Max Povey after Gibson and skipper Daniel Brady inexplicably failed to cut out a hopeful pass directed between them.

Mitchell, after sustaining a groin injury, made way for Jake Parker after the interval and Mark Jones switched to defence.

The away side played at a higher tempo, although they again survived a let-off when Whyte’s curling shot drifted narrowly wide after he had been picked out again by Cummings.

McGowan wriggled into a shooting space at the other end, firing low and prompting Povey to jab out a leg to deny him an equaliser.

Woolley, after Burscough failed to clear a corner, then saw his hooked effort bounce up onto the crossbar.

1874 were at least posing a threat, although they rarely gave the sense they had control of the contest.

That was confirmed when substitute Matthew Ward bent a shot towards goal, after Prince Ekpolo nudged the ball his way with a heel, that Green dived at full stretch to turn around an upright.

The former Winsford United custodian’s intervention felt even more important when McGowan, from Gardner’s perfectly-weighted assist, swept a smart finish past Povey to level.

A decisive goal from the visitors, with Burscough visibly deflated by losing a lead, felt likely from that moment on.

One did not arrive though, and instead they’ll have a second attempt to progress in a replay on Tuesday night.

Burscough | 4-4-2 | Povey (GK), Parkes, Brady, Gibson, Clark, Cummings, Dunroe, Brannigan (Devlin 46), Ekpolo, Doherty (Ward 46), Whyte Subs not used Lorde, Henerty, Gary Grier Goals Whyte 3, Cummings 14 Booked Dunroe (foul)

1874 | 4-2-3-1 | Green (GK), Connor, Mitchell (Parker 46), Pritchard, Russell (Lee Jackson 54), Matthew Woolley, Jones, Gardner, Freakes, Kennerley (Riley 70), McGowan Subs not used Thomas, Woods, Winthrop, Joe Woolley Goals Matthew Woolley 42, McGowan 72 Booked Freakes, Gardner (both fouls)

Referee Oliver Noonan

Attendance 150