AFC Blackpool and Squires Gate come through their FA Vase ties

AFC Blackpool won on Saturday      Picture: Nikki Wilcock
AFC Blackpool won on Saturday Picture: Nikki Wilcock
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AFC Blackpool reached the next stage of the FA Vase after winning 2-1 in their first qualifying round match against Redcar Athletic.

The Mechanics, who were desperate to return to winning ways after back-to-back defeats, created their first chance after seven minutes but Jamie Thomas fired over.

He was also denied by the keeper in the 19th minute but the Mechanics took the lead five minutes later.

Jamie Milligan’s corner was met by Mark Buchan, who provided the assist for Francis Donaghy to score.

At the other end, Redcar Athletic twice failed to capitalise on defensive errors with debutant keeper Danny Roccia equal to both chances.

The visitors nearly equalised again just before half-time as Gary Redman was sent through one-on-one but fired over.

An offside flag denied Redcar early in the second half but they levelled in the 48th minute when pressure on the Mechanics’ defence ended with Stephen Jackson scoring.

Another offside flag came to AFC’s rescue and they capitalised with the winner in the 80th minute.

A swift break caught the opposition off guard with Daniel Morris heading in.

Roccia preserved the lead with two late saves as AFC won through, much to the joy of manager Martin Baird.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted for the boys.

“It’s not often we get past the first round so, again, it’s good that we are changing this mentality.”

Squires Gate also progressed as they beat Whickham 2-1 on Sunday.

They had trailed to Carl Finnigan’s first-half goal before James Boyd levelled in the 90th minute and Dean Ing netted the winner in extra time.