WAYNE Goodison described the pride he felt in his players after watching 1874 Northwich progress to the FA Vase last 16 for the first time.

The co-manager remembered Paul Stockton too and told the Guardian he hoped the day had unfolded as the chairman, who passed away last week, envisaged.

“He’ll be looking down on us with a grin,” said Goodison.

“This was a fitting tribute to a man who would have loved to have been here.

“It was emotional, as we knew it would be, but I felt it was handled well.

“That set a backdrop for us to perform against, and I’m so happy for the players.

“You’re never quite sure how they’ll react, but they got the result that we wanted in front of a record crowd for the club.

“It ticked all the boxes, didn’t it?”

Mark Jones scored in the moments before half-time to put 1874 in front.

They ought to have been awarded a penalty when Jimmy Williams fouled Scott McGowan before Pontefract levelled through captain Mark Whitehouse’s stunning free-kick.

However McGowan netted twice in the closing stages.

First, he steered a header into the net from Sam Hind’s cross.

He then hammered home a rebound after his spot-kick – awarded after substitute Kazim Waite-Jackson was fouled by Calum Stapleton – had been parried by goalkeeper Ryan Musselwhite.

Goodison said: “Scott comes alive in those moments, and he’s won the game for us.

“He’s an out and out goal-scorer and the focal point of our attack, and that’s why we brought him back to the club last season after taking charge.

“I felt we managed a difficult spell in the second-half well; it would have been easy to feel sorry for ourselves when the penalty wasn’t given, but we didn’t let it affect us.

“Their lad scored a brilliant free-kick, but we stayed solid afterwards to make sure they didn’t push on from there.

“Pontefract are a good side and we knew what we had to do to nullify the threat they can pose.

“I think we can play better than we did, but the defensive side of our game was excellent and we deserve to go through.

“It gets exciting now doesn’t it?”