1874 Northwich went into Saturday's FA Cup second qualifying round tie knowing they would have to pull off one of the best performances in the club’s history to beat Bet Victor Premier League leaders Whitby Town - but narrowly fell short, writes Matt Waters.

On paper the Greens were at a disadvantage before the game had even begun with the notable absences of defenders Sam Hind and Mark Jones. This saw the forced change of Matty Russell slotting in at right back and Under 21 prospect Bobby Turner making his full debut.

The game began with 2 good opportunities for 74 through Scott McGowan whose shot from a tight angle was stopped by the in-form stopper Bland, who also denied Mike Koral whose effort from point blank range was tipped round the post.

Soon after 1874 were made to pay the price of not taking the earlier chances as they fell a goal down.

A misplaced pass from Jack Tinning bobbled awkwardly in front of the debutant Bobby Turner whose sliced clearance found Matty Dixon and his ball to teammate Brad Fewster converted past Tony Aghayere.

The remainder of the half played out in a similar fashion as only a sloppy mistake separated the two sides going into the break.

1874 started the sharper of the two sides, playing some good football but unable to capitalise on the early chances which the Seasiders did.

The start of the second half saw an attacking change as Harry Cain replaced Jack Tinning as 1874 looked to put pressure on the side from two leagues above.

The half followed a similar narrative to the first as 1874 were applying pressure to the Seasiders, dominating the game but failing to create any clear-cut opportunities in the final third.

This is credit to the superb defensive work by the Whitby back five who put their bodies on the line against a surgent 74 attack.

The Greens will have felt hard done by after a penalty claim was turned down after Scott McGowan went down in the area with what looked like a push in the back.

The longer the game went on, the harder it became.

The influence of Nathan Okome brought a new creative outlook in the final 10 minutes and he nearly secured an equaliser as his first-time effort went over the bar from 25 yards out.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for 1874, who bowed out to a very workmanlike Whitby side.

In all truth it felt like the better side had come away with the loss but it was an excellent performance that everyone in green can be proud of.