Progress was made in the Isuzu FA Trophy last Saturday but after the euphoria of that game it was a second league defeat on the trot for Brighouse Town on the Monday night.
Town came back from a goal down in the second qualifying round tie at home to Clitheroe to be leading 2-1 as the final whistle approached and then in added on time they succumbed to an equalising goal from a corner and the game then went to penalties.
Clitheroe went a goal up after 12 minutes when new signing Jack Dando was ruled to have fouled Domaine Rouse in the penalty box. Richard Baker made no mistake from the spot.
Town equalised through Jack Normanton on 36 minutes and six minutes later he should have been awarded a penalty after being blatantly pushed over in the box.
The second half was a frantic affair with Town’s centre forward Mohammed Qasim pulled to the ground by his shirt in the box but denied a penalty to the home crowd’s annoyance with the referee from Salford, Joe Cunningham. Clitheroe hit both a post and a crossbar and keeper Harry Garman also made two superb saves. Town were awarded a penalty in the 81st minute and Normanton made no mistake in beating Danny Taberner for a second time.
Town now had to just play out the tie and then in the 88th minute the referee went down injured and had to leave the field, Town’s former media manager and qualified referee Damian Wales taking over on one line while the senior assistant Ian Claridge took over in the middle.
Four minutes into added time Clitheroe equalised through Rouse and following a further five minutes of time the tie ended 2-2.
Town, thanks to keeper Garman with two great saves, won the penalty shoot out 4-1, along with the goals from Normanton, Ash Butterworth, Darius Smith and skipper Josh Grant.
Town will now travel over the `hill’ to Ashton United on Saturday week, October 7 for the third qualifying round, thus postponing their away league game that day at Bridlington Town.
Town could have been two goals up inside the first five minutes at home to Dunston with steadier finishing but it was the Tynesiders who took the lead on 12 minutes through Jack Maskell, who looked a trifle offside and keeper Michael Roxburgh just failed to get his hands on the through ball.
Town did have more chances in that first half against a very strong and skilful side and also had the ball in the net but the referee ruled a foul on the keeper Dan Staples. Town lost Jack Crook on 32 minutes with a leg injury and Mackenzie Warne took over. Also in the 58th minute Town also lost experienced full back Bramdon Webster (leg) and a minute later they went 2-0 down as Maskell headed in his second goal.
Myron Gibbons and Qasim did have late chances to score for Town who had been outplayed by a more experienced and stronger side.
On Saturday Town entertain promoted County Durham club Newton Aycliffe (3pm) who they last played on September 15, 2015 at home in the FA Cup 1st qualifying round and on the day lost 2-0.
Town’s West Riding County FA Senior Cup first round tie away to Thackley will be played on Wednesday, October 11 (7.45).