MATTHEW Woolley netted the all-important goal in Tuesday’s replay as 1874 moved into the first round of the FA Vase.

The skipper’s 80th-minute winner handed Northwich a deserved trip to Irlam on Saturday, October 21, and maintained a strong sequence of eight wins and six draws from 14 outings this season.

With extra time not splitting the teams on Saturday – when Jake Parker hit a 39th minute equaliser – Woolley’s strike ended 156 minutes of football without a goal.

It is not as though the overall contest was shorn of chances.

And Congleton indeed gave 1874 a late scare, with one of two shots on goal rebounding to safety off a post.

While hard-working Northwich enjoyed the majority of possession and did most of the pressing, appearing to have a strong hold on the game, Bears were a constant threat on the counter-attack.

Both goalkeepers were kept busy throughout.

Visiting keeper Greg Hall was equal to a powerful shot from 15 yards by Jason Carey after two minutes.

Lee Jackson created an opportunity for Clevon Beadle but his effort went into the side netting.

A free kick from 25 yards out by Scot McGowan hit the crossbar and bounced away to safety.

Just after the half hour a rasping drive from Sam Hind rattled the woodwork too.

Jason Carey, Neil Chappell and Declan Fletcher all had shots on goal for the hosts, while one of the best 45 minutes by 1874 this season ended after an effort from Parker was cleared to safety Taylor Kennerley had two tricky runs to create good scoring chances for himself but lacked a killer finish.

A well-taken Congleton free kick was headed away as the excellent back four of 1874 showed they were up to the task.

At the other end a free-kick fired into the penalty area seemed to strike the arm of a Congleton defender but referee Jon Kenny waved play on.

The introduction of substitute Adam Whitlow on the right with 15 minutes remaining provided another worry for Congleton.

It turned out that Whitlow’s fellow wing man Kennerley would be involved in the game’s only goal.

He went on a dazzling run that culminated with a shot from 20 yards that was deflected for a corner.

And from a well-delivered corner Woolley popped up at the back post to settle the outcome.

1874 | Hall (GK), Connor, Jackson, Pritchard, Meadowcroft, Parker, Beadle (Whitlock 73), Matthew Woolley, McGowan, Hind, Kennerley Subs not used Riley, Lever, Woods, Clayton Goal Matthew Woolley 80 Booked Matthew Woolley

Referee Jon Kenny

Attendance 218