ALSAGER Town hit back from behind to progress to the NWCL Challenge Cup third round, with a 3-1 win at Ramsbottom United.
Difficult conditions on Saturday seemed to affect Town the most, and they paid the price for a slow start by falling behind to a well-taken Ramsbottom goal within 10 minutes.
The blow sparked the visitors into life and Peter Heler came close to bringing the game level when he burst past two defenders, only to see his sweet strike cannon off the post.
Heads were in hands again moments later when Mike Grice contrived to miss an open goal following an accurate Alan Fraser free-kick.
But Sam Brotherton restored parity when he fired home from a corner on 25 minutes. Three minutes later, Grice teed up Heler who made no mistake from distance.
Grice shot wide shortly after the break and Alsager made the game safe when Heler tapped home following a neat period of inter-play.
Rob Powner was then called into action to make sure his side retained a two-goal cushion until the final whistle. Alsager Town U18s and Sandbach Town U18s fought out a 2-2 draw in a top-of-the-table clash.
Both teams found the conditions difficult to get to grips with, and it put paid to it being a real footballing contest. Sandbach took the lead in the 34th minute when visiting keeper Pick-ing's clearance fell to Jones, who finished sweetly from 20 yards out.
Alsager got back on level terms soon after the break when a Kieran Dawson corner brought panic into the home penalty area, and from close range, Farr tapped home.
Alsager then stunned the home team when a terrific 25-yard strike from John Sheldon flew into the net. Sandbach finished the stronger and their pressure paid off when they won a penalty, which was converted by Thomas in the last minute. Nantwich Town's cup clash with Congleton Town was postponed on Friday due to planning difficulties and rescheduled for last night.
On Saturday, the much-anticipated derby between Alsager and Nantwich takes place at Fairview Avenue, Alsager, 3pm.