1874 Northwich produced a tremendous fightback to knock neighbours Witton Albion out of the Cheshire Senior Cup on their own turf.

Goalkeeper Nosakhare Aghayere was the hero, saving Witton skipper Billy Smart’s spot kick to win the tie 4-3 on penalties after the 90 minutes had ended 2-2.

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Nosakhare Aghayere is swamped by teammates after saving Billy Smart's spot kick to take 1874 into the second round of the Cheshire Senior Cup. Picture: Karl Brooks Photography

It was a reward for 1874’s never-say-die attitude.

Scott McGowan’s leveller in the 91st minute took the game to penalties.

Albion had found themselves hanging on in the closing stages after a 78th-minute own goal from Isaac Baldwin put the contest back on a knife-edge.

Northwich Guardian:

Picture: Karl Brooks Photography

Goals from MJ Monaghan and Baldwin had put Witton in control by the break.

Witton got their noses in front from their first sight of goal after 10 minutes.

Tom Owens cued up MJ Monaghan and he had the time and space to rifle a 25-yard shot into the top left corner.

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Picture: Karl Brooks Photography

The visitors grew into the contest and built pressure that led to a rasping 20-yard drive from Callum Gardner bringing the best out of Witton keeper Ryan Neild at full stretch as the ball headed towards the top right of the net.

Two minutes later 1874 had a penalty claim ignored by referee Oliver Nolan.

Mike Koral ended up on the deck from Stefan Sorensen’s challenge inside the box, but the incident ended with the attacker’s name in the referee’s book.

Witton lost Will Gatward to a leg injury, with Leo Roberts joining the action, and after the hosts had weathered the storm they fired back with goal number two.

Billy Smart angled his run through the penalty area and accurately squared the ball across goal for the oncoming Isaac Baldwin to slot home.

Northwich Guardian:

Picture: Karl Brooks Photography

The start of the second half was much more open.

Harry Cain had a shot blocked and Mitchell’s header lacked power as 1874 looked to cut the deficit, knowing the next goal would be crucial to the outcome.

Baldwin found himself in acres of space on the left but he fired off target for Witton.

The end-to-end flow continued as McGowan’s effort inside a busy box was blocked and his claims for handball in the process fell on deaf ears.

1874’s next chance fell to Sam Hare as a dipping cross dropped on his chest in sight of goal but the ball just got away from him and keeper Neild was able to fall on the ball with relief.

An indirect free-kick 15 yards from the goal-line brought more pressure for Witton but Neild was sharp to get the measure of McGowan’s blasted effort.

On a counter-attack Kyle Sambor got away down the right for the hosts and his goal-bound strike was well covered by Aghayere.

Then from a well-worked corner Baldwin again forced Aghayere into preventative action, at full stretch low to his right.

Then came a lifeline for 1874.

Lee Knight’s delivery into the area was nodded into his own net by Baldwin after 78 minutes for 2-1.

Witton’s sense of urgency increased, twice coming close in the space of five minutes.

Northwich Guardian:

Picture: Karl Brooks Photography

But 1874 were not to be denied their leveller, which came a minute into added time through the prolific boot of McGowan from close range.

The visitors went for the jugular and Knight’s long-range effort had Neild at full stretch in the final goal attempt of the 90 minutes.

Then came the drama of the penalty shoot-out, which went to 3-3 before sudden death.

McGowan, Hare and Matt Woolley all hit the mark for 1874, with Baldwin, Cesaire Lingouba and Adam Anson doing the same for Witton.

Northwich Guardian:

Pictures: Karl Brooks Photography

Northwich Guardian:

After Matthew Russell scored in sudden-death for 1874, Aghayere became the hero.

Witton: Ryan Neild, Jack Byrne, Isaac Baldwin, Stefan Sorensen, Adam Anson, Billy Smart, Michael Monaghan, Tom Owens, Kyle Sambor, Cesaire Lingouba, Will Gatward. Subs: Cameron Brookfield, Josh Wardle, Liam Goulding, Leo Roberts, Chris Renshaw.

1874: Nosakhare Aghayere, Mike Koral, Matthew Russell, Ryan Mitchell, Mark Jones, Nathan Okome, Callum Gardner, Matt Woolley, Scott McGowan, Sam Hare, Harry Cain. Subs: Lee Knight, Jack Tinning, Taylor Kennerley, Robert Turner, Joe Duckworth.