The Celt Army twice came back from a goal down, and also saw a goal controversially ruled out, to force a replay, and arguably had the better of the chances.
Farsley Celtic Manager Adam Lakeland was frustrated his side saw a goal disallowed, as he said: “I’ve spoken to four different people now, and no, I still don’t know what’s going on. It’s embarrassing, embarrassing refereeing, and I think it’s costly for us.
“I felt we deserved to go through to be honest, and now we’ve got to go back there on Tuesday and it’s going to be a completely different game, they’re now big favourites I would say, and it’s frustrating.”
However, Lakeland was ultimately pleased with his side’s performance as he added: “I felt my players were outstanding, I really do feel like we’ve been very unfortunate today not to have progressed, but I cannot fault the players.”
Less than two minutes into the game Jordan Hulme stunned the hosts as he gave Altrincham the lead, scrambling the ball home after his initial effort had been saved at point-blank range by ex-Altrincham ‘keeper Elliot Wynne.
Nathan Cartman had a fantastic chance to respond for Farsley as he cut inside from the left and dribbled past two Altrincham defenders, but when an opening appeared, he fired over.
After a flurry of torrential rain, hail and snow, Jimmy Spencer struck back for his side as he arrowed a sweetly-struck shot into the bottom corner from 20-yards out for his eighth goal of the season.
With half-time approaching Altrincham shot-stopper Tony Thompson had to be at his best to keep his side level. Nathan Cartman and Dave Syers linked-up to move the ball through to Spencer inside the box, with Thompson make an excellent save from the Farsley forward’s effort.
Shortly before the hour mark, a mistake by Farsley shot-stopper Elliot Wynne allowed the visitors to retake the lead. Wynne’s clearance fell straight to Jordan Hulme who headed against the upright, but he was alive to tap home the rebound for his second of the game.
Just three minutes later Nathan Cartman thought he had levelled for the hosts as he rounded Tony Thompson and slotted home. However, the referee had blown his whistle, then awarded the goal after deliberation with his assistant, before he eventually ruled the goal out to the bemusement of those in the crowd.
Despite the setback, Farsley showed great character to get back into the game and deservedly equalised with 15 minutes remaining as Dave Syers was able to squeeze the ball home from close range.
Thompson had to make another crucial stop from Jimmy Spencer with around five minutes remaining, before the final chance of the game fell to Syers who slotted the ball agonisingly wide of the upright deep into added time.
Farsley Celtic: Wynne, Richards, Regan, Higgins, Ellis ©, C. Atkinson, B. Atkinson (Parkin 89), Syers, Spencer, Cartman (Francis 89), Hayhurst (Walton 81). Unused subs: Trenerry (GK), Allan, Clayton.
Altrincham: Thompson, Densmore, Hampson, Mullarkey, Hannigan, Mount ©, Peers, Williams (Richman 81), Hulme, Hancock, Walker (Harrop 59). Unused subs: Wall, Jonks, White, Blackburn.
Referee: Mr. Richard Aspinall