Ramsbottom United’s ten match unbeaten run came to an end with a narrow defeat at the hands of Premier Division side FC United of Manchester.
In front of another large crowd at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, the visitors upped their game after an even first half, to deservedly move into the next round of the League Cup.
FC took the lead with the first meaningful attack of the game after ten minutes. Home keeper Grant Shenton stopped a close range volley before Astley Mulholland reacted quickest to the loose ball to blast it home from six yards out.
The lead lasted a mere three minutes.
A right wing corner from Owen Roberts was met perfectly by Billy Priestley who planted a firm header into the back of the visitors net.
Minutes later, the Manchester team were fortunate when a high free-kick into the area bounced off the head of a defender, only for Jon Worsnop in goal to flick the ball over from just under the bar.
In a half of few chances, Tom Greaves weaved his way along the edge of the Ramsbottom penalty area, before firing in an angled effort that sailed wide of the far post.
The second half began with the first chance to the Rams. Phil Dean raced down the left before sending in a cross that sailed over the heads of two team-mates but bounced to allow Jordan Hulme to dive in to head the ball at the far post, but his attempt sailed harmlessly over the bar.
Shenton made a fine save from Greaves to keep the score level, then a free-kick from the edge of the box was headed over by the wall for a corner.
From that corner, FC scored what proved to be the match-winner.
The ball was flicked on and Mike Norton turned to fire home from close range.
Substitutes Grant Spencer and Dominic Smalley combined to send in the latter, but he placed his shot wide of the target as the home side looked for an equaliser, but in truth, most of the half belonged to the visitors.
The wall blocked a free-kick from Rhodri Giggs, and Shenton smothered the ball from Mulholland after a mazy run into the area, before Norton should have finished the game off on 81 minutes. He beat the offside trap, but with only Shenton to beat, he lofted the ball too high and over the bar.
Lewis Brownhill had the last chance for FC in the final minute, but he, too, was thwarted by Shenton, but it hardly mattered as the visitors deservedly progressed through to round two
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED: Shenton, Lomax(Smalley 57mins), Roberts, Pilkington, Warrender, Priestley, Toth, Hulme(Spencer 65mins), Robinson, Brooks(Gaskell 57mins), Dean. Subs not used: Chadwick, Stopforth