Stocksbridge Park Steels twice fought back against National League North side Stalybridge Celtic to earn a replay tomorrow, after star striker Joe Lumsden had been harshly sent off.
The result was no more than Chris Hilton’s cup battlers deserved - and indeed, Steels came close to pulling off what would have been a sensational victory near the end as Stalybridge looked happy to accept a replay.
Lumsden wasn’t far away from give Stocksbridge a perfect start with an angled drive that Grant Shenton in the Celtic goal had to touch round the post for a corner.
However, Lumsden’s game was to end on 11 minutes when he challenged for a 50-50 ball full-back Daniel Wisdom, who had to be taken off after treatment. The match official instantly showed the red card - to the disbelief of Lumsden and his teammates.
Celtic quickly made their numerical advantage count when on 20 minutes Aiden Chippendale latched onto a long ball to go round David Reay and stroke the ball into an empty net.
Stocksbridge though were not prepared to throw the towel in and grabbed the equaliser they deserved on the stroke of half-time, when Scott Ruthven drilled a low shot into the corner.
Celtic regained the lead on 51 minutes when Dan Wilkinson scored but with 16 minutes remaining Steels levelled for a second time - with Harrison Biggins curling home a quite brilliant 25-yard free-kick from out on Stocksbridge’s left.
The visitors were themselves reduced to ten men on 84 minutes when defender Keil O’Brien was shown a second yellow card.
The home side twice went close to winning it in the closing stages with George Grayson just failing to get the vital touch on a Biggins free-kick,while in the final minute Ben Rhodes went close with a low drive.
Shaw Lane AFC are through to the fourth qualifying round after beating Nantwich Town 3-1, with Gavin Allott hitting two and new signing Andy Gascoigne getting the other.
Matlock Town must also replay following a 1-1 home draw with FC Halifax Town.
Sheffield FC extended their unbeaten run to nine games - but had to settle for a point as Kidsgrove Athletic snatched a stoppage time equaliser in a 1-1 draw at the Coach & Horses Ground.
Club were in front on 32 minutes with Lee Cooksey in the right place at the right time to knock home the rebound after Sam Finlaw’s superb effort had come back off the crossbar.
But just when it seemed Club had done enough to hold onto the three points, in one last gasp attack Kidsgove grabbed the equaliser when Chris Birchall turned in a cross.
Fixtures, Tuesday: FA Trophy third qualifying round replay: FA Halifax Town v Matlock Town, Stalybridge Celtic v Stocksbridge Park Steels.
Premier Division: Skelmersdale United v Frickley Athletic.