Barnoldswick Town continued their defence of the Morrison Cup in this local derby, as they reached the final after holding their nerve to win a penalty shootout.
It was the visitors who took the lead after four minutes, following some sloppy defensive work, Callum Uttley latching onto the ball midway into the Town half, before sliding the ball past Adam Wormwell in goal.
Town quickly got into their stride with some attractive approach play.
There was no real penetration though, and the frustration was clear as half-time approached with the home side still a goal behind.
Wormwell had also prevented the visitors taking a two-goal lead on 25 minutes when he somehow clawed an effort out of the top corner.
Jordan Slade finally got his team back into the game on 44 minutes following excellent approach work by the irrepressible Bailey Coates, who had an outstanding game.
Town started to dominate proceedings in the second half, and raced into a 3-1 lead, with Coates netting twice, seven minutes after the interval, and 20 minutes from time.
His first followed a superb driving run from the powerful James Butler, and the second was a smart follow up to Slade’s penalty miss, Chris Wood in the AFC Barlick goal making the initial save.
The penalty was given when James Butler was upended after another superb foray into the penalty area.
Town were cruising at this point, and more goals looked likely for the home side.
But the unpredictability of football was evident again as the plucky AFC Barnoldswick team came back at the cup holders and totally outplayed them for the last 15 minutes.
They managed to draw the scores level through goals from Wissam Badri on 86 minutes, and another from Uttley two minutes into injury time. thus taking the match to penalties.
Town prevailed in the penalty shoot out 3-0, with Wormwell making a superb save to win the tie.
Town will now play Ingleton, who beat Cononley 2-1 last week, in the final, to be played at Settle.
Town’s next game is back in the Storefirst East Lancashire League First Division, at home to Langho tomorrow, with a 2-15 p.m. kick-off.
l Town’s first team went down 2-0 on Tuesday night at 1874 Northwich.
The game was goalless with 16 minutes to play, before Samuel Hind put the hosts ahead, and Matthew Woolley added a second six minutes later.
Town are next in action on Tuesday night, at home to Congleton Town.