A MIRACULOUS goalline clearance by John Pendlebury deep into the second half ensured West Allotment’s passage into the next round of the FA Cup.
Allotment dominated their extra preliminary encounter against Selby Town but had the quick thinking of their right back Pendlebury to thank for their 2-1 victory.
The win sees Allotment go one stage further in the competition than last year, their reward being a trip to Northern League champions Spennymoor in the next round.
Manager Paul Stoneman started at centre back in the inaugural match of what is to be his last season as a player, his side started at breakneck speed, Liam Hudson firing over the first effort with less than a minute on the clock.
Selby struggled to find any sort of fluency in the opening exchanges and could easily have found themselves three or four down before Allotment’s inevitable breakthrough.
Ian Dunn’s through ball allowed Hudson to beat the offside trap and he selflessly laid the ball off for Tony Lancaster to put the home side in front with a simple tap in.
Hudson and strike partner Shaun Reid both missed chances before the opener and they spurned more opportunities to increase the advantage.
Allotment were made to pay for their sloppy finishing as Selby equalised with their first attempt of the match.
Town restored parity after taking advantage of their opponent’s deteriorating focus.
Allotment failed to clear after dispossessing the advancing attack and when the ball bounced back into the host’s area, Stephen Chapman was given the freedom of the box to slide the ball across goal for Josh Dinsley to slam home.
Celtic felt they had restored their lead almost instantly but Hudson’s finish from Reid’s knock down was ruled out for handball.
The second half took much the same pattern as the first with Allotment starting the stronger, creating but failing to convert numerous chances.
Maintaining their siege on the Town goal eventually paid off as Dean Lee came off his wing to put the forwards out of their misery and finally find the target.
Reid squeezed past a couple of Selby defenders before finding Lee on the edge of the area who drilled the ball past the hapless William Ward into the bottom corner.
Falling behind once again seemed to derail the Yorkshire side’s efforts and both Reid and Hudson had further chances, but their was still no reverse in fortunes for the pair in front of goal.
Selby did manage to rally late on and it was Pendlebury to the rescue for Allotment as he performed an extraordinary clearance to preserve the lead.
Nicholas Brown’s neat footwork finally got the better of left back Mark Dummit as he surged into the area.
His slide rule pass along the six-yard box fell invitingly for Paul Jones to stroke home, but despite beating the keeper Pendlebury managed to spoon the ball off the line.
The dying minutes of the contest saw Selby throw numerous bodies forward but it was to no avail as West Allotment held out with relative ease.
The FA Cup journey may be short lived for both these sides, with Allotment given the formidable task of ousting Spennymoor in the next round, but Stoneman will be given a lot of comfort by his side’s performance ahead of their Northern League opener against Seaham Red Star on Saturday.