Tadcaster Albion will travel north on Tuesday night to decide the winner of Saturday’s FA Cup extra preliminary qualifying round, after they drew 1-1 at home to Consett.
Their Northern League visitors were more than a match for Albion, who despite a flawless start to the NCEL Premier season, struggled for ideas against Consett.
That’s not to say they were short of chances, as striker Danny Gray hit the post in the first half and missed a clear header in the second.
But Albion will need to up their game on Tuesday if they are to get past their nuggety hosts and progress in the competition.
Overall on Saturday, a draw was probably the fairest result.
Consett enjoyed more possession, but Albion created better scoring chances and were more dangerous in the set piece.
As early as the fifth minute, Albion were millimetres from a goal when Gray saw his chance and blasted the ball at Consett ‘keeper Peter James, but it richoted off the right post, and was then deflected out for a corner.
Left back Steve Jeff delivered a great ball, but James had no trouble saving Nathan Kamara’s attempt.
A challenge on Kamara by winger Anthony Lund handed Albion a free kick but they were unable to do much with it, and then defender Calvin Smith cleared another shot from Tom Owen after Robert Pell set up a decent chance.
But in the 13th minute, Albion won a free kick after a poor challenge by Consett’s Ryan Bell.
Up stepped Jeff, and he curled a stunning ball over the wall and into the top right corner.
It was a deserved lead for Albion, but they had no time to celebrate as straight from the kick-off, Consett pounced.
Right back Michael Reese won the ball on the far wing and delivered a super cross into the box where striker Michael Mackay was waiting and he slammed home the equaliser.
Consett’s goal filled them with renewed confidence, and after this Albion struggled to reclaim their rhythm.
Consett subjected the Albion goal to massive pressure, Lund setting up striker Steve Riston for an on-target chance which fortunately crept wide of the far post after taking a deflection.
Kamara then blocked another attept by Lund.
Left back Ian Davidson fired over in the 29th minute, midfielder Craig Robston went close with a powerful centre which Albion’s Scott Pallister saved with aplomb and then repeated the feat with a header from Carl Piecha.
Albion meantime were mainly working overtime in defence, and scoring chances were limited to a shot that drifted well wide of the right post by Nick Thompson, a Gray effort parried away, and then a Kamara chance from the right wing, also comfortably saved.
The 1-1 scoreline was carried into half-time, however Albion were so close to taking the lead five minutes into the second half.
Unmarked in the box after a great cross in, Gray had only the keeper to beat but somehow sent his header wide.
It was symptomatic of their afternoon and a sign that this just wasn’t to be Albion’s day.
Jeff had another chance with a free kick in the 52nd minute, but Matthew Sparkes headed over the bar.
Jeff picked out an unmarked Pell on the far wing in the 68th minute but the striker was deemed offside.
A minute later Pell won a free kick just outside the box to the right of the goal, but the ball was nodded out in the melee.
Albion couldn’t seem to find their shooting boots, despite working the ball into decent chances.
Pell was brought off and replaced by Callum Ward with 15 minutes to go, whose exuberance won a free kick.
Gray took it and Kamara was in space but thundered the ball over the bar.
It took a deflection en route, however Sparkes nodded the resulting corner out once again.
The match dwindled towards full time with Albion out of ideas, and Consett looking more and more content to play down the clock and force a replay at their place.
And they got their wish.
The sides will have to do it all again on Tuesday night at Consett.
Meantime, KNARESBOROUGH TOWN were felled 1-0 at home to Askern Villa in the NCEL First Division.
Both Harrogate Railway and Town were in friendly action on Saturday.
Town lost 3-0 away at Middlesbrough, while Railway were held 1-1 at home to Field FC.
Tadcaster Albion:Scott Pallister, Nathan Kamara, Steve Jeff, Terry Taylor, Matthew Sparkes, Ryan Qualter, Nick Thompson, Tom Owen (Charles Ennis 55), Danny Gray, Robert Pell (Callum Ward 75), Stuart Rice; Lee Kelsey, Phil Briscombe, George Gisett, James Caplan.
Consett: Peter James, Michael Reese, Ian Davidson, Andrew Cuthbertson, Ryan Bell, Carl Piecha, Calvin Smith, Craig Robson, Steve Riston, Michael Mackay, Anthony Lund; Stephen Calles, Scott Martindale, Gavin Ross, Mathew Elcombe, Jack Stanger, Luke Sullivan.