Nelson held their nerve to advance past Prestwich Heys on penalties in the Macron Cup second round on Tuesday night.
Steve Cunningham’s Admirals drew 1-1 with Heys at Adie Moran Park in 90 minutes, but won 3-0 on spot kicks.
Alex Mullin deservedly put the Blues in front on 20 minutes, finishing off a low cross from close range.
But Prestwich levelled matters eight minutes into the second half through Rio Wilson-Heyes, who drove home from 12 yards.
And debutant goalkeeper Marcel Wusiewicz – signed on a short-term loan from Burnley, where he plays for the Under 18s – was the hero in the shootout, making two saves, as Nelson progressed.
However, on Saturday, Nelson suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to St Helens Town in the Hallmark Secutity North West Counties League First Division, as their struggles continued.
The Blues started well and took the lead after 18 minutes as Alex Grice headed into the bottom corner.
They dominated the first half, and though St Helens had chances, they went into the break 1-0 up.
Just four minutes after the restart, however, Alex Ashby levelled matters from a free kick.
And the visitors scored what proved to be the winning goal with 21 minutes remaining, with an own goal from a corner.
Chris Turner fired just wide as Nelson looked for an equaliser, but they fell short.
Nelson host Holker Old Boys tomorrow.