SKELMERSDALE United booked their place in the last eight of the Liverpool County FA Senior Cup with a victory on penalties at Edge Green Road.
Ashton goalkeeper Craig Vernon made four magnificent saves in the first 24 minutes. First from a Kenny Strickland penalty, then from Gareth Peet’s effort from the rebound, in the 8th minute he acrobatically tipped a Jack Laird rocket over his crossbar, before again frustrating Peet by diving at his feet.
All the goal action on the night came after the interval, Ashton igniting the fireworks with a goal in the 50th minute, Adam Burton shooting across Zac Hibbert into the far corner to give Ashton the lead.
It took Skelmersdale just seven minutes to level. Adam Morning blasted a shot from 15 yards that scorched Vernon’s gloves as it went into the net.
A period of Skelmersdale pressure followed, Morning, Laird and Dean Astbury all going close, Ashton causing one panic themselves, but Peter Wylie cleared off the line, to save United’s blushes.
When Astbury slotted the ball past Vernon after a fine through ball from Morning to make it 2-1 with only seven minutes remaining it looked game up for plucky Ashton.
The hosts were having nothing of the sort, though. Deep into added time former Skelmersdale and Marine striker Liam Rushton fire in an equaliser.
In the penalty shoot-out, Hibbert made a great save from Kevin Brownrigg then Jordan Lorde fired over the crossbar to give Ashton a nightmare start to the five kicks, leaving Adam Morning to give Skelmersdale the right to play Southport in the next round.
l ASHTON TOWN: Vernon, Rothwell, Goughwaite, Keenan, Brownrigg, Wilkie ©, Jump, Burton Adam, Robinson, Smith, Rushton Subs Morris, Lorde, Dainty, Hopkins – Brabin
l SKELMERSDALE UNITED: Hibbert, Flood, O’Reilly, Hardwick ©, Wylie, Strickland, Greene, Ince, Laird, Morning, Peet Subs Hughes, Astbury, Tuck, Burton Alan, McMahon
l Referee: Matthew Corlett
l Attendance: 131