PRESTWICH Heys and Northwich Victoria will have a replay for a place in the last 64 of the FA Vase after a goalless second-round tie at Adie Moran Park.

On a blustery afternoon, it was the visitors who had the best of an often untidy, scrappy game.

However, while Heys struggled to make headway going forward their defensive resilience was excellent, and earned them a second bite at the cherry.

Heys keeper Michael Smith was again in fine form with a series of key saves while Vics also missed a penalty to give the hosts hope of grabbing victory which made for a tense afternoon for the 182 in attendance.

The opening exchanges were tight. It was Northwich who created the first opening eight minutes in as Brandon Barski cut inside before picking out Dominic Craig whose first-time shot flew wide.

Heys responded in kind as Rio Wilson-Heyes broke into the box before pulling the ball back for Chris Baguley but his first-time effort whistled past the post.

However, the visitors from the Hallmark Security League Premier Division, were emerging the stronger.

Quicker to the ball and more incisive with their passing, they began to stretch Heys’ defence.

Billy Whittle perhaps should have scored but put a free header wide of the post but despite their overall superiority Northwich were finding it difficult to create any real openings against a determined Prestwich rearguard.

Heys were struggling to make any noticeable impression going forward too though and, as the half drew to a close, they were indebted to Smith for keeping them on level terms.

The Heys stopper got down smartly to hold a Robert Doran shot and, on the stroke of half time, he tipped a cross-cum-shot from Craig over the bar.

Having fed largely on scraps in the first period, Heys came out looking to make a greater attacking impression and some slick passing created an opening for Chris Baguley but his shot from 20 yards went over.

The visitors, backed by their noisy band of supporters behind the goal, hit back and some patient passing culminated in Kurtis Howson darting into the penalty area before pulling his shot across the face of goal.

Just after the hour, Vics had a golden chance to take the lead.

In a scramble in the goal area, Smith was harshly adjudged to have fouled an attacker as he gathered the ball and the referee pointed to the spot.

However, Joel Brownhill, smashed his kick against the crossbar and Heys were able to clear the danger.

The miss appeared to take some of the sting out of the visitors and give Heys belief it could be their day.

Although chances at either end were few and far between, Heys’ attacks began to carry more potency than at any time in the afternoon, with the pace of sub Michael Itela giving their opponents plenty to think about.

There were some anxious moments for Northwich in the closing stages as they twice scrambled clear from corners.

The first period of extra time saw Heys in the ascendancy with ex-Prestwich keeper Danny Taberner having to get down to collect a Chris Baguley free kick.

But in the second period Northwich hit back and Heys were indebted to Smith for two great saves, to set up the replay, scheduled for yesterday evening.

This Saturday Heys host Cleator Moor Celtic in the second round of the Macron Cup. Kick off at Adie Moran Park is 3pm.