Whickham booked their place in the second round of the Isuzu FA Vase after a 4-2 win in Greater Manchester against Ashton Town on Tuesday evening.
With only three days notice, we travelled down with 14 players including an 17-year-old Josh Robbins and 16-years-olds Ben Hewitson and Finn Davies.
Tom Romano who had looked to have departed the club two weeks ago came back for one last dance and Dan Field returned to put in a brave performance at the back.
Ashton started the better side and dominated the opening ten minutes which is when Carl Peers struck from the edge of the area into the corner, leaving debutant Dan Lister with little chance.
Five minutes later a strong black and white response found an equaliser as Terry Galbraith played a long ball over to Scott Robson who beat the offside trap and slotted home through the legs of Dan Harrison.
It was soon apparent that the Lang Jacks had figured their opponents out as they asserted their dominance on the match as Jake Jensen headed close, Nathan Stephenson hit the bar and Robson struck wide from close range, all before the interval.
The second half was an end-to-end encounter from the first whistle to last and ten minutes into it substitute Tom Romano put us ahead as he utilised his unorthodox but remarkably effective style to beat two players before firing low and hard into the net.
Ashton hit straight back from kick-off as Whickham failed to clear a ball into the box and Leon Wright bundled the ball in.
Romano soon after added to his phenomenal goalscoring record from the bench as Ashton centre half Michael Burke headed a ball backwards which caught out ‘keeper Harrison who slipped and allowed Romano to capitalise.
The win was secured on the stroke of standard time as Jensen slipped through Robson who fired into the corner and set off jubilant celebrations.
A second round clash with Bury awaits on the weekend of 11th November.
Whickham XI: Lister; Howard, Field (Romano 46′), T.Galbraith, Agnew, Robbins; Yoxall, Jensen, Stephenson; Munro (Hewitson 90′), Robson.
Unused sub(s): Davies.
Man of the Match: Terry Galbraith