Town had Jack Stanley’s late effort to thank after beating Salisbury FC 3-2 to progress through to the Second Round of the FA Youth Cup earlier this evening.
Town’s U18s got off to the perfect start with less than a minute on the clock after Sol Pryce kept his cool to convert from close-range.
Scott Twine then fired wide with the visitors enjoying a bright start to proceedings at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.
Rendall went close for the hosts at the other end before Twine fired another warning shot after planting a well-struck shot against the frame of the woodwork.
Town were having plenty of the ball and were having to work hard with the Whites looking dangerous when going forward.
However, the young Reds always looked a threat in the final-third and could have doubled their lead on two occasions with Jordan Simpson sending a shot inches over the bar before Tommy Ouldridge flashed an effort wide.
Town were launching wave after wave of attack on the Salisbury goal but their efforts proved fruitless until just before half-time when Twine pounced to squeeze the ball home from close-range.
It was a similar story after the break with the visitors pressing forward, although they were being restricted to few chances with Salisbury defending well.
Seb Martinez did well to beat two defenders before warming the palms of the Salisbury keeper, and that missed opportunity allowed the Whites to get back into the tie minutes later courtesy of Matthews’ penalty.
Joe Romanski then replaced Louis Spalding as Town looked to regroup following that setback with Salisbury full of confidence following their goal.
But the home side were riding the crest of a wave and hauled themselves level with less than 15 minutes to play after Romanski could only turn the ball into the back of his own net.
Callum Gunner could then only send a close-range effort over the bar before Salisbury went close at the other end.
The game looked to be heading to extra-time until Town mustered up some late drama with Jack Stanley stabbing home in the dying minutes to send his side through to the Second Round of the FA Youth Cup.
TOWN STARTING XI |Matthews; Stanley, Christopher, Hathaway, Spalding (Joe Romanski 69); Martinez (James Georgaklis 75), Ouldridge, Simpson, Gunner; Pryce, Twine.
Subs Not Used –Frimpong, Edwards, Giamattei.
REACTION FROM TOWN’S U18’S MANAGER ALAN MCLOUGHLIN AND GOALSCORER JACK STANLEY TO FOLLOW OVER THE WEEKEND.