FRONTLINE ace Tom Mathews earned Brighouse Town an FA Vase third-round meeting with Derbyshire side Holbrook Sports – but they needed extra time to see off Staveley Miners Welfare.
The East Midlands Counties League side will visit the Dual Seal Stadium on Saturday, December 8 after Mathews’ double helped Brighouse to a 3-1 win in the battle of the Baris Northern Counties East League Premier Division rivals in Chesterfield, where the score at 90 minutes was 1-1.
Brighouse began the second-round tie brightly and on six minutes had their first shot when Danny Naidole shot just over from 18 yards.
From the resulting goal kick, Staveley keeper Tom Turner pulled up with a leg injury and was replaced by Richard Ayres.
Brighouse’s best chance of the first half came on 42 minutes, when Ernest Boafa created space before hitting a crisp left-foot shot from just inside the penalty box which brought a good save from Ayres.
Brighouse boss Paul Quinn made a tactical change at the break, with young winger Ryan Hall replacing James Hurtley, and Town looked very lively and determined in the opening phase of the second half.
It took until the 58th minute for the deadlock to be broken, when a corner fell nicely for Boafa, who crashed the ball home from close range.
Staveley’s Andrew Fox was booked for dissent as Brighouse celebrated the goal.
But the home side were in happier mood on 76 minutes, when a quickly taken free-kick was rolled to Jordan Eagers, who hit a speculative shot which gave keeper Tom Taylor no chance.
In the final minute Brighouse had an opportunity to seal the victory, but Mathews’ shot was well saved.
That brought extra time and Mathews hit a good effort just over on 107 minutes, while Staveley immediately replied with a drive from Eagers, but Taylor made a great save with his legs.
Into the second period of extra time Brighouse’s fitness was starting to show and they were easily on top.
On 110 minutes, Hall broke down the right, his pace too much for the Staveley full-back, and whipped in a cross for the ever alert Mathews, who reacted quickly to get in front of his marker and fire home from six yards out.
The striker, who has now set a club record of scoring in 11 consecutive outings, was not finished and ensured his side were bound for the last 64 by breaking clear and chipping over the advancing keeper for his 26th goal of the season – the highest tally in the entire NCEL.