ATHERTON Colls got revenge for a recent 3-0 league defeat in faraway Northumberland to reach unchartered FA Trophy territory with a 2-1 over Morpeth Town.

Dave Sherlock thought he had given Colls the lead inside ten minutes but his tidy finish was ruled out for a very harsh handball decision seemingly influenced by the orchestrated shout of vociferous defenders. The home team looked very comfortable in possession but were always respectful of their recent conquerors. Josh Thompson broke the stalemate just after the half hour mark when he rose highest at a corner to power a header home. The Highwaymen had a gilt edged to equalise on the stroke of the half time breather but Sean Reid narrowly missed the target at the far post.

The lead was doubled early in the second half when Tom Bentham out-powered a couple of Town defenders before caressing the ball clinically into the far corner of the net. A now fully fit Ben Hardcastle almost finished off a fine move but Morpeth shot stopper Dan Lawson pulled of a grand save at his near post. The Geordies enjoyed plenty of possession, Michael Turner saw a goal bound effort gallantly cleared off the line and Greg Hartley was more than equal to another couple of efforts. They eventually pulled one back with five minutes remaining when sub Liam Henderson unerringly slotted home from the edge of the box. It was squeaky bum time for Colls as Town searched desperately for parity.

A Tuesday evening seven-hour round trip sojourn up North wasn't on any black and white striped bucket list. However any lingering hopes for the away outfit evaporated when goalscorer Henderson saw a straight red for a heavy challenge on Hartley.

A fine Colls win against quality opposition. The draw for the next round adds the Conference North big boys to the mix.

On Saturday Buxton visit the Skuna Stadium for a Northern Premier League clash, KO 3pm