BARNTON took an early lead through skipper Chris Bailey but went down 2-1 at home to Pilkington after being reduced to 10 men.
They conceded an equaliser on 21 minutes and the outstanding Tom Swann and Mike Sandbach both went close before the break.
Barnton goalkeeper Andy Hewitt was sent off for pulling down an opponent and Paul Allen donned the gloves and nearly stopped the decisive penalty.
Witton Reserves won a thriller at Rylands by the odd goal in seven and Lostock Gralam continued to show great improvement in Division One with a 3-3 draw at Grappenhall.
Bob McDonough scored a 90th-minute penalty winner for Witton, for whom Andrew Burns, Tim Drohan and Kurtis Gill were also on the mark.
The Grey Lambs fought back from 2-0 down and went in front though Peach, Keller and Peach again only to be denied victory in the 88th minute.
Barnton travel to Rylands on Saturday.
Lostock Res won 2-1 at Sandbach Town to reach the semi-finals of the Crewe & East-Cheshire Inter-League Cup. Their marksmen were Steve O’Malley and Mike Clarke.
In the First Division of the Crewe & District League, Cuddington thrashed Winnington Avenue Reserves 6-0 to maintain their promotion challenge. On the mark were Mike Robinson (2), Oliver Jones, Ken Dougan, Ritchie Mason and Jim Alley.
Saturday: Crewe FA Cup semi-finals Congleton Ath v Lostock Res; Crewe League Division One – Winnington Res v Malpas Res.
Also Saturday, Mid Cheshire FA District Cup semi-finals (2.15pm): Middlewich Town v Witton Res, Winnington Avenue v Middlewich Res.
The Barton Stadium hosts the Mid Cheshire FA Sunday Cup between Rudheath and St Joseph’s final the following day (11am).