Joint manager Darren Holmes reflected on a “crazy” game as his Glasshoughton Welfare team progressed to the next round of the FA Vase in a nine-goal tie at Bootle on Sunday.
Up against higher league Litherland Remyca, a remarkable game saw Welfare win 6-3 after they let a three-goal lead slip, but then scored three unanswered goals in extra-time after their hosts had two players sent-off and two more sin-binned.
Nathan Perks led the scoring with four for Glasshoughton who can now look forward to a second qualifying round tie closer to home, at Handsworth on Saturday, September 14.
After the game joint manager Holmes said: “What a crazy game, nine goals, eight bookings and sendings off. At 3-0 we were cruising and again eased off with some poor decision making and sloppy defending.
“Credit to the lads at 3 -3 we dug in and had to endure poor discipline from the opposition who were intent on appealing for every tackle and confronting our players and the referee.
“Four great goals from Nathan Perks sealed the win.
“We showed great team spirit. All pulled together and got the result they deserved.
“The Wembley dream is still on as we move onto Handsworth in the next round!”
At a poor facility and on a poor playing surface Welfare looked to be coasting when going three up in the first 30 minutes courtesy of a Perks hat-trick.
Welfare introduced Jake Barton in goal for the game and he was hardly tested in the first 20 minutes. Perks got his first goal on nine when he latched onto a long ball out of defence and slotted under home keeper Ben Morrow.
Perks and Mark Ferguson then had shots charged down, but on 22 minutes Perks got onto the end of a Ryan Hallsworth free-kick and deftly headed past Morrow.
Nine minutes later the same combination worked again when another Hallsworth free-kick found the head of Perks and he headed home.
Litherland hit back and only a fine Barton save prevented the home side scoring before Neil Monaghan headed them back into the game from a corner.
Barton made another decent save just before the break, pushing the ball for a corner and Monaghan hit a free-kick well over.
Welfare opened the second half on top and Ferguson saw his shot go inches wide. However, on 51 minutes Paul Foy got the home side back in it when he drove the ball into the top corner of the net.
Barton then saved Welfare with a tremendous block that seemed to take its toll on the keeper who had to be replaced by sub keeper Jordan Leatham minutes later.
Litherland drew level on the hour as poor defending from a free-kick allowed Stephen Rothwell to poke the ball home.
As the game entered the last few minutes the visitors had great chances to win it with Perks shooting straight at Morrow and seeing an effort blocked for a corner. The keeper then saved from him again and other efforts by Hallsworth, Josh Vamplew, and Aaron Kitao were foiled.
Before the end of normal time the home side had two players quickly red carded and in the second minute of extra-time Welfare took the lead again when Hallsworth battled well on the right before breaking free and shooting high into the far corner of the net.
Discipline again cost the home side as two players were sin-binned and Welfare took advantage as a great cross from Fidel Moholo was volleyed home by Francisco Matos.
At the death Perks got his fourth when he jinked past a couple of defenders before slotting the ball into the far corner.
Glasshoughton are without a game this weekend.