WAYNE Goodison praised the persistence of 1874 Northwich’s players after Ryan Mitchell’s winner sent them through in the FA Vase.

The defender claimed a close contest’s only goal from a late corner against Chichester City to secure a quarter-finals place.

“I think we deserved that reward,” reflected the co-manager afterwards.

“We work a lot on set-pieces, and try to be creative with them.

“The irony is we hadn’t quite set that one up properly, but their defence switched off and left a space for Ryan to run into.

“I’m made up for these lads; they’ve made another bit of history for the club and they should enjoy how that feels.”

He told the Guardian that, along with joint-boss Paul Bowyer, he had started to consider what to say to the players before the start of extra-time.

1874 almost broke through when substitute Shelton Payne, from captain Matthew Woolley’s pass, saw his angled shot flash past the far upright via the merest of touches from a retreating defender.

However just as he had done at Maine Road a fortnight earlier, Mitchell plundered a decisive goal from the resulting corner.

Goodison said: “We were thinking about extra-time and what we might tweak.

“As time was ticking by, you urge the players to be careful they don’t do anything silly and gift a chance to Chichester.

“If they score a great goal, then that’s fair enough.

“I felt confident that the longer the scores stayed level it was better for us.

“You could sense they were creaking a bit, and one or two of their lads were going down with cramp.

“Had we played another half-hour, then I would still have fancied us to find a way through.”

1874 will discover their opponents at the next stage during Monday’s draw.

After taking another step closer to Wembley, where the final takes place in May, Goodison said it is inevitable anticipation will grow.

“The players are excited, and it’s obvious the supporters are as well,” he added.

“I don’t mind that, and it was heartening to hear the lads say to each other in the dressing room that we need to concentrate now on picking up as many points as we can in the league before the next round.”