Atherstone Town and Worcester City will have do it all again after an enthralling FA Vase fifth round tie couldn’t be settled on the day.
Marco Adaggio’s strike just after the half-hour mark for Worcester City forced the game to a replay after Atherstone had led in the first half through Josh Ruff.
Worcester City started on the front foot, Liam Lockett lashing over from 18-yards with less than a minute on the clock before Adaggio forced a smart save from Carl O’Neill in the Adders’ goal not long after.
Atherstone then began to show the kind of resilience and endeavour that saw them knock out much-fancied Stockton Town in the last round with a string of chances, Sam Belcher going closest, getting on the end of Perry Cotton’s knockdown header from close range, but Dan Jezeph was equal to it.
Despite the home side’s dominance, with 38 minutes gone it was City who could, and probably should have broken the deadlock. Joe McNulty misjudged a pass allowing Sean Brain to race away from the backline before rounding O’Neill and with the goal gaping, he took too much time and the Adders’ keeper managed to get back and smother the ball behind.
Brain wasn’t about to be let off the hook and was made to pay just three minutes later. Ruff picked the ball up just outside the box before dancing his way past three challenges, getting a shot off that deflected up and out of the reach of Jezeph, to send Atherstone in a goal up at the break.
The game evened out a bit more after the interval with Worcester looking to make more of a game of it.
Lockett again went close with a shot from 25-yards stinging the palms of O’Neill who was lucky to still be on the pitch after handling the ball outside of his box moments before.
Adaggio was the man to level things after 63 minutes, a long throw into the box wasn’t cleared well enough and Lockett volleyed goalward, the shot was palmed out to Adaggio to stab home from close-range.
Four minutes from time, Worcester went down to ten men after Kurtis Mewies was shown a straight red for a late lunge on Atherstone substitute Ben Ashby, but the game remained level at the final whistle and went to extra-time.
The two sides traded blows in the extra period – Brain forcing another save from O’Neill while Joe Obi had an effort deflected behind at the other end, but a replay will be needed with both sides going into the hat in Monday’s draw.