AN injury-time winner from substitute Mark Bellingham fired Daventry Town into the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy after cup specialists Kidsgrove Athletic had fought back from a 3-1 deficit midway through the second-half at Communications Park on Saturday.
The Potteries side is still involved in the FA Cup after victories over Boston United and hitherto all-conquering Long Buckby but was just outpointed by Mark Kinsella’s resurgent team.
A seven-goal thriller opened with two goals inside 10 minutes. Andy Kinsey fired in a 25-yard free-kick for the visitors but the Hendrie brothers responded within seconds when playing together for the first time.
Former England international Lee threaded through a pinpoint pass to on-loan Hinckley United striker Stuart who rounded Kidsgrove goalkeeper Steve Hodgson for an eighth minute debut goal.
Handball by Jamie Skellern enabled Horward Forinton to score from the penalty spot for the third time this season to put Daventry in front after 24 minutes as Kinsella made four changes from the team beaten 2-0 at home to Uxbridge in midweek.
Lee Hendrie thumped the crossbar with a left-footed shot on the half hour and Forinton emphasised his recall with a well-taken headed goal following good work by Claudiu Hoban in the 50th minute.
It should have been plain sailing for the Town after that but lapses in concentration allowed Kidsgrove to hit back twice in four minutes.
Substitute Steve Brennan started the comeback, scoring with a 77th-minute rebound after two point blank saves from David Bevan.
Kinsey’s second goal then came from an 80th-minute close-range effort which threatened to cause a midweek replay in the Potteries.
Fortunately for the Town Bellingham then came to the rescue with an injury-time effort set up by Adam Confue and Nathan Hicks.
This was a much better performance from the Town in front of only 126 spectators with the younger Hendrie using his pace to cause problems up front, Claudiu Hoban making hay on the left and Craig Milligan catching the eye in defence.
Aaron Parkinson who starts a three-match suspension on Saturday, was left on the bench along with Bellingham, Lewis Bishop and the half-fit Scott Cross.
This gave places in the starting line-up to the younger Hendrie, Luke Edawrds, Forinton and Hoban.
The whole squad will be needed in November when Daventry will play eight matches, six of them in the Central Division, after this weekend’s trip to Ashford Town in Middlesex.