RAMSBOTTOM United beat Pickering Town 2-1 on home turf on Tuesday night to book a trip to Workington in the first round of the FA Trophy.

The Rams earned a replay after a competitive, yet goalless meeting on Saturday in North Yorkshire.

Both starting XIs showed just a single alteration from the weekend with Luke Thompson returning in central defence at the expense of Khalil Osi-Efa for the home side.

The opening moments of the match began in lively fashion with Pickering almost taking the lead after just three minutes when a speculative attempt from around 25 yards by Lewis Taylor struck the woodwork with Sam Ashton motionless.

The deadlock was broken by the hosts on the quarter-hour mark when a surging run from Eddie Moran gave the midfielder a chance to perfectly play the ball into the path of Nic Evangelinos who strode purposefully into the penalty box before sending an accurate left-footed shot across Charlie Andrew and inside the far post to register the attacker's fifth goal in the last four FA Trophy ties.

Ramsbottom maintained the pressure and a blistering effort from Jamie Rother left the Pickering stopper helpless but the ball thumped into the woodwork.

With 10 minutes of the first half remaining lively attacker Nialle Rodney almost doubled the home side’s advantage when his well-struck effort also hit the frame of the goal.

The visitors made their first change at the break when Ged Dalton replaced Jamie Barkway and almost immediately made a contribution as the recently-arrived substitute was adjudged to have been fouled inside the box and Ryan Blott confidently equalised from the penalty spot to restore parity.

Despite having the better of the second period after that the Rams were not at their fluent best.

Then, as the watch was ticking towards the 90-minute mark and with extra time looking more a probability rather than a possibility the pivotal moment of the contest arrived when a patient attack lead to Ruben Jerome firing an effort goalwards which was blocked by Andrew before the ball fell to Eddie Moran in the penalty area.

The midfielder’s astute pass to the edge of the box found marauding full-back Kyle Jacobs whose thunderous right-footed effort from 20 yards flew past Andrew and exploded into the back of the net for the defender’s first goal in Rams colours.

It was a goal fit to win any match and saw Ramsbottom United progress to the first round proper of the FA Trophy for the first time since 2014.

The Rams unbeaten run under Chris Willcock is now an impressive 12 matches ahead of the return to Evo-Stik West action on Saturday and the visit of second placed Runcorn Linnets.