FC UNITED crashed out of the UniBond League Challenge Cup at the first hurdle with a 1-0 extra-time defeat by Alsager Town last night.
FC made seven changes from the team which won the club's first-ever FA Cup tie against Trafford on Sunday, including debut appearances for new boys Liam George and Cayne Hanley.
And the weakened side was given a hard battle by the visitors, who are riding high in the southern section of the UniBond League's first division. FC goalkeeper Sam Ashton, with a series of saves, and a spectacular goal-line clearance by Liam Foster kept FC in contention in the first half.
Playing down the slope at Radcliffe's Stainton Park ground, it was the turn of Alsager keeper Matt Conkie to excel and he denied sub Jerome Wright, Simon Carden and Anthony Hargreaves with a string of superb saves.
And in extra time the visitors' gallant resistance paid off when Dave Whittaker smashed home a 108th-minute winner through a crowd of players when the Rebels failed to clear a corner.