A THRILLING FA Cup preliminary-round tie saw six goals shared between Ramsbottom United and Winsford United on a roasting day at The Riverside on Saturday.

The Rams made one change from the midweek victory at Pickering with Karl Jones getting his first start and he scored just three minutes in, striking after Ruben Jerome’s lay-off to give the hosts the ideal start.

It took Winsford until the 10-minute mark to get back on terms, ex-Ram Sam Madeley haunting his old club by converting an inviting cross.

But, almost immediately, Rammy regained the lead. Speedster Irywah Gooden got beyond his marker and was tripped inside the area for a spot-kick. With usual penalty taker Nic Evangelinos on the bench, Jerome converted for his third goal in three.

In a topsy-turvy encounter that lead only lasted until the 16th minute.

A long ball caught out the Rams’ defence and David Short superbly made the most of the chance to lob Tom Stewart from 25 yards.

The pivotal moment came on the half hour when Winsford’s Obi Anoruo swas shown a red card for a challenge on Jamie Rother.

After Gooden and Rother went close it was Jerome who made it 3-2 just before the break, pouncing to score after Dane Rigby parried Jones’ shot.

The start of the second half saw the sides exchange wasted chances, Gooden going the closest with a shot on the run that thudded against the bar.

Despite Winsford being a man down the Rams were finding it difficult to keep control of possession, with their opponents posing a threat on the counter attack.

And their third equaliser came with less than 15 minutes remaining, substitute Sam Marshall turning home a deep cross.

The final minutes slipped away as the hosts toiled in search of a late winner, Winsford defending doggedly and having a late chance to snatch victory, but the striker cleared the bar.

The two sides will reconvene in Cheshire on Monday with a place in the first qualifying round and an away tie at Maltby Main at stake.