Aylesbury FC survived a frantic finish to book their place in round one of this season’s FA Trophy, eventually fending off Molesey 4-3 at the weekend.
The hosts were in control for large periods of this preliminary round tie, however a lack of concentration meant their progress was never truly safe until the final whistle, which eventually blew after an extended period of injury time.
In Monday’s first qualifying round draw, the Moles were drawn at home to Harlow Town. The tie will take place on Saturday, October 28.
Efforts by both Ty Deacon and then Shayne Almond within the first couple of minutes hinted at the entertainment to come on Saturday, and FC may also have had a penalty on six minutes when Almond appeared to be tugged back.
A combination of Ben Stevens and Jordan Jenkins then kept out Molesey before Aylesbury went into a deserved lead on 14 minutes when good pressure culminatied in Deacon bundling the ball home from a matter of yards out.
Craig Carby threw himself at a goalbound effort from the visitors and Almond went close with a flashing shot across the penalty area.
This was the prelude to the game’s outstanding goal. Deacon pushed the ball past his marker, ran round the other side and crashed an exquisite shot into the top corner of the net to double his side’s lead.
Leading by two at the break and now kicking towards their favoured end, Aylesbury were well on their way but it wasn’t to be so straightforward.
Just shy of the hour-mark, Molesey won a penalty which Antonio Simeone converted, and then the deficit was wiped out completely through Olu Akinsanya, who swept high into the top corner past a despairing Ashley Jenkins.
The fightback jolted FC back into life, and Molesey were on level terms for just six minutes with Jordan Jenkins rifling in after the ball had pinged around the penalty box.
Even better was to come as Aylesbury extended their lead further. Just four minutes had elapsed since their third when Almond got in on the act as he made no mistake after being teed up by Jeanmal Prosper.
That really should have been that but once again, Aylesbury made it hard for themselves as Ashby Charles netted late on. Thankfully, though, the Moles just about clung on to progress.
FC visit Moneyfields in a return to their East Division campaign on Saturday.