Town became the first side into the hat for the second round of The Emirates FA Cup as a pair of goals either side of half-time were enough to secure a 4-1 victory against Skelmersdale United.
Calvin Miller and Jake Lawlor both netted their first goals in a Town shirt with Mark Beck and Aaron Martin also getting on the scoresheet in the victory.
Hopes that the visitors had of causing an upset were dented when Town made the perfect start within the opening minute when Beck’s strike came back off the post and Miller crashed the rebound home past the helpless Ben Barnes.
The Blues almost immediately levelled though when Mini Adegbenro found himself beyond the Town defence but hit his effort wide of Joe Cracknell’s post.
Simon Weaver made a number of changes to the starting line-up with only Warren Burrell, Dan Jones, Connor Kirby and Jack Muldoon being retained from the side that began Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat to Tranmere.
North West Counties outfit Skelmersdale came into the tie as the lowest ranked side in the competition, some five divisions below Town, and were at this level for the first time in over 50 years.
A spirited response from Skelmersdale to the early setback caused Town some frustration and Dan Jones became the first player to receive a yellow card on the night when he went into Bobby Madeley’s book for kicking the ball away.
Lloyd Ellams followed Jones into the book on the half-hour mark for a foul on Josh Falkingham, who was on the receiving end of some close attention from United’s midfield.
Despite the early lead, Town were forced to work hard to create any further opportunities but as the half wore on they began to find their groove. With half-time approaching Miller forced a smart save from Barnes and Falkingham hit over from distance.
Deep into added time Town’s efforts paid off as they doubled their lead when Beck hit home from close range, with the striker continuing his FA Cup goalscoring run having netted in both ties last season.
Weaver opted to make a double switch just after the hour when goalscorer Miller and Tom Walker were replaced by George Thomson and Brendan Kiernan.
And less than five minutes later Town extended their lead when substitute Thomson’s free-kick was bundled home by Lawlor.
The lead was extended further shortly after when Martin, who had been introduced for Jack Muldoon minutes earlier, headed home from close range.
With their opponents beginning to tire Town sensed the opportunity for further goals and saw a Kevin Lokko effort hit the post but the visitors ensured they went away with a memorable moment when Daniel Mitchley hit home with the ninety minutes approaching.
The win sees Town book their place in the second round for only the second time in their history and the last time since the 2012/13 season.
Town: Cracknell, Burrell, Jones, Lawlor, Lokko, Walker (Thomson, 64), Falkingham, Kirby, Miller (Kiernan, 64), Beck, Muldoon (Martin, 69).
Subs not used: Belshaw, Stead, Kerry, Hall.
Goals: Miller (1), Beck (45), Lawlor (68), Martin (74).
Booked: Jones (17).
Skelmersdale: Barnes, Herbert, Preston, Murphy, Grogan, Peet (Webb, 69), Grimshaw, Ellams, Mitchley, Griffiths, Adegbenro (Brodie, 75).
Subs not used: Glennon, Croughan, Wainwright, Davies, Ellis.
Goals: Mitchley (89).
Booked: Ellams (32), Grogan (90).
Referee: Robert Madley.
Report by Danny Pugsley.