Barnoldswick Town stage stunning fightback against Northallerton Town in FA Vase

Town's players celebrate with the fans at the final whistle''PICTURES: Peter Naylor
Town's players celebrate with the fans at the final whistle''PICTURES: Peter Naylor

Barnoldswick Town came from 2-0 down at Northallerton Town on Saturday to claim a place in the first round proper of the Buildbase FA Vase.

And Town boss Matt Barnes is quietly confident they can advance further after being drawn at Abbey Hey, who play in the North West Counties First Division North, a league below Barlick.

On a wider pitch than Town are used to, Town were caught cold early on.

They went 2-0 down within 14 minutes to goals from Connor Short and Jason Blackburn in North Yorkshire, and the home side could have had a more convincing lead from their early pressure.

But Ric Seear gave Barnoldswick a lifeline seven minutes before the break, as he pulled one back with a header.

Ethan Kershaw levelled for Town with 18 minutes remaining, and Seear netted a late winner to reward the noisy travelling supporters.

Barnes said: “First half we were miles away from it, I don’t think we completed a pass until the 44th minute.

“We were dreadful, and the boys were told that at half-time.

“We came out with a better attitude, commitment, bravery, and what a way to win it, late on away from home in the FA Vase, after being 2-0 down.

“It’s those types of games that make football special.”

And he praised the supporters for their backing: “The fans were superb yet again, it’s noted from the lads, and it’s something that gives you that 12th man and keeps you going.

“They didn’t shut up, and to see the celebrations was superb.

“It makes you proud to be part of the club.

“We’ll have our hiccups, and I’m sure they’ll let me know, but even when we went 2-0 down they were still behind us, and credit to them for that.

“It pushed us over the line.”

Town can now look forward to a trip to Abbey Hey, and Barnes added: “Obviously they’re a team we know quite a lot about, from playing in the North West Counties Premier before they went down.

“We don’t want to count our chickens, but it’s a nice draw, to hopefully progress further.

“For the first time it’s actually been a nice draw, we tend to get the north east teams away, it would have been better if it was at home, but I’m pleasantly pleased.”

Town are back on the road on Saturday in the league, as they face Hanley Town, and Barnes said: “We have another long trip to Hanley on Saturday, so it’s about keeping our standards up and making sure they’re there week in, week out.”