Stone Dominoes came from behind as they were made to work hard for the points at struggling Abbey Hulton on Saturday afternoon.
Dominoes had taken the lead after just 33 seconds with the only goal of the first half but Simon Rabbitt and James Harrison had replied for the hosts; Shane Lindop and Jules Paterson turned the game in the away side’s favour in the final 15 minutes.
Joint Manager Kyle Adams was relieved to pick up the victory and pleased with the character shown by his side.
“We perhaps needed that second goal when we went ahead early but we didn’t get it and Abbey played their way back into the game,” said Adams.
We know we weren’t at our best but credit to the lads because they really dug in when we went behind to turn it around again and grind it out.”
The visitors were still without Ben Roberts but welcomed back Ryan Parkes and Ash Thompson for the trip.
The away side made the perfect start when Tom Broadhurst picked the ball up midway inside the Abbey Hulton half after just 30 seconds and his effort brushed the shoulder of Cooper to take it past the despairing dive of Liam Mchugh in the home goal.
Kay Beardmore was called into action minutes later as he tipped a James Harrison header over the bar to prevent a swift equaliser.
Harrison had another chance to level proceedings soon after but he could only direct his header into the side netting at the far post.
Dominoes were dealt a blow when they lost Joss Myatt to injury after just 20 minutes but they twice nearly doubled their lead when Cooper’s effort was saved well by Mchugh at his near post before the Stone forward struck the foot of the post moments later.
Substitute Ash Thompson had a good chance to add a second just after the half hour mark when through on goal but his right footed effort was saved well by Mchugh before the visitors were forced into another substitution as Cooper departed with what looked like a knee injury.
Marcus Thorp came close just before the interval with a header from a corner but saw his effort cleared off the line by an Abbey defender.
The home side started the second half the brighter and were rewarded on the hour mark when Rabbitt latched on to a nod down from Harrison to fire past Beardmore for the leveller.
Dominoes were almost ahead again 2 minutes later when Lindop cut the ball back for Jake Hughes who watched in disbelief as his goal-bound effort was deflected over the bar by teammate Paterson.
Abbey took the lead for the first time in the game midway through the half when Thompson was dispossessed on the edge of the penalty area and Harrison took full advantage by drilling a low shot past Beardmore into the bottom corner.
Thompson came within inches of redeeming himself somewhat 2 minutes later when his free kick effort struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down onto the line and away from danger.
Stone were level with 15 minutes remaining as Lindop picked the ball up 25 yards out and took aim before firing an effort past Mchugh who could only stand and watch the ball fly past him into the net.
The visitors were almost ahead within a minute when an unmarked Thorp arrived at the far post to meet a cross but he directed his header over the crossbar.
Paterson found what would prove to be the winner with 10 minutes remaining as the ball ricocheted through to him in the penalty area where he was able to turn quickly and calmly finish past Mchugh.
Paterson almost turned provider 5 minutes later as he slid the ball across the six yard box but a stretching Tom Broadhurst could not quite get his toe to the ball to turn it golawards.
The home side pressed for an equaliser late on but were unable to create the chance they needed with Chris Nellis doing brilliantly to head the ball clear in the last minute from a dangerous cross.
Dominoes look ahead to four successive cup games now starting with Saturday when they start their defence of the Presidents Trophy as they welcome Wolverhampton Sporting U21s to Wellbeing Park.
Final Score – Abbey Hulton United Reserves 2 Stone Dominoes 3
Stone Dominoes: Beardmore, E.Adams, Parkes, Steele, Thorp, Byles (Nellis 65), Hughes(c), Myatt (Thompson 18), Broadhurst, Cooper (Paterson 35), Lindop.
Goals: Rabbitt 61, Harrison 68 (Abbey Hulton); Cooper 1, Lindop 74, Paterson 79 (Stone Dominoes)