Barnoldswick Town built on Saturday’s opening day draw at Runcorn Linnets by beating Squires Gate at home on Tuesday night.
Mark Threlfall was a constant thorn in the Gate side with his probing runs down their right, though Marko Marosi made a great save from former Town player Joe Shelmerdine, saving at the foot of the post.
Squires Gate that took the lead after 37 minutes, as a cross from Seydou Bamba found Shelmerdine just on the edge of the six-yard box. His first attempt was brilliantly saved by Marosi, but the ball rebounded straight back to him and he easily scored.
A brilliant last ditch tackle by Billy Priestley saved Town from going further behind before the break.
Early in the second half Town brought on Spencer Jordan for Ben Gorman, but Squires Gate threatened next when Bamba brought a great save out of Marosi at the foot of his post.
At the other end a dreadful mix up between the Squires gate keeper Nathan Worrell and Thomas Bartlett saw the ball fall at the feet of Threlfall, who moved to one side before tapping in the equaliser just before the hour.
Two minutes later and another great ball found Threlfall who cut inside and shot, but a desperate tackle blocked the shot.
After 66 minutes Town brought on Stewart Airdrie for Neil Chapman, and within seconds he nearly turned in Liam Garbutt’s cross from three yards out, the ball going harmlessly across the face of goal.
Town continued to put pressure on the Gate defence and a great five-man move saw Garbutt unable to keep his first time volley down from eight yards out, the ball sailing over the bar.
Then, with four minutes left, Liam Blades made a hash of a pass just outside his own penalty area, Bamba seized onto the ball with the Town defence flatfooted, and moved forward before unleashing a terrific shot past Marosi.
Town piled on the pressure searching for an equaliser, and it duly came in the 89th minute. Three corners on the bounce saw Bill Williams (pictured) head the ball in from six yards out.
However, in a reverse of last season when a last-minute goal won the spoils for the Gate, Blades’ pinpoint cross found the head of Threlfall, who forced it home to give Town an unlikely but well-deserved win.
Saturday saw last season’s fourth place side play fifth in a tough opening day encounter at the Millbank Stadium, Runcorn.
The game started in bright sunlight and Town took the lead after five minutes when Mark Threlfall crossed for Liam Garbutt, who easily beat Tom Brockhurst in the Linnets goal.
The play ebbed and flowed mostly in midfield until the 20th minute when the Linnets were awarded a corner.
It was floated over towards the far post and headed back across goal where Bowes, unmarked, headed firmly past Marko Marosi in the Town goal from six yards out.
Marosi came to the Town’s rescue a minute later with a fantastic double save to thwart the Linnets forwards, and again two minutes later, diving to tip round the post a drive by Lewis Callaghan.
Town seemed to be struggling to put any pressure on the Linnets defence, though a Liam Blades cross found Threlfall, and his looping header bounced of the top of the crossbar for a goal kick.
Runcorn came out for the second half meaning business, and four minutes in, but for a magnificent block from Bill Williams, would surely have gone into the lead.
Just before the hour Linnets thought they had scored. A free kick hit the foot of the post and rebounded to a Linnets player, whose shot was blocked on the line by Williams, the ball hitting the underside of the bar before being put in by a Linnets forward. The goal was disallowed for a foul on Marosi.
After 78 minutes Town could and probably should have gone ahead, Garbutt trying a left foot shot from the corner of the area, only for it to drift away from goal, with Threlfall, coming in at the back post, somehow managing to lift the ball over the bar.
Next up is an FA Cup extra preliminary match away at Barton Town Old Boys of Humberside tomorrow.