WAYNE Goodison admits he was surprised when 1874 Northwich failed to build on a promising first-half performance when they exited the FA Vase on Saturday.

They reached the interval on terms with hosts Newcastle Benfield, but didn’t react after Paul Brayson put the Northern League side ahead on the hour.

Scott McCarthy’s header from a corner then condemned last year’s semi-finalists to a second-round defeat.

“We were in control,” said the co-manager.

“They did everything that we expected, and we did what we needed to keep them at arm’s length.

“In spells, I thought that we were better than we had been against Silsden the week before.

“But we weren’t able to sustain it and that’s what is so disappointing.”

The visitors could not call on front man Kyle Riley, ruled out with a broken hand, and instead sent on attacking full-back Jordan Tucker and midfielder Kazim Waite-Jackson as substitutes.

But Newcastle protected their advantage in relative comfort to clinch a home date with Runcorn Town, rivals of 1874 in the North West Counties League’s top-flight, at the next stage.

Goodison said: “They changed a couple of things in terms of the position of one or two of their players and we didn’t react well when they started to knock the ball in behind us.

“We wanted our lads to pass it and do the things that they’re good at because we’re not as much of a threat when we try to go a different way.

“It’s frustrating, and not having either Kyle [Riley] or Joe Woolley available did limit our options in terms of how we could change the game.

“We lacked a bit of quality in the final third after getting into some good positions, although I feel they couldn’t have had any complaints if we’d scored before half-time.”

He hailed a huge travelling support from Northwich that tipped the attendance above 250.

And they continued to cheer their favourites even as the clock ticked down towards a disappointing outcome.

Goodison added: “The fans were incredible, and there must have been close to 200 there.

“They stuck with the team even after we went 2-0 down, and kept trying to encourage the lads.”