A second-half comeback from Charnock Richard and a controversial Ryan Reid red card unwired the incredible first-half display by Congleton Town.
The Bears were more than deserving for their 3-0 lead within the opening 40 minutes.
Ethan Hartshorn, who can’t do much wrong in front of goal in recent weeks, opened the scoring thanks to a wonderful pick out from Dan Needham, giving the midfielder the simple task of firing home from close range.
The visitor’s doubled their lead moments after as referee John Thomson pointed to the spot after spotting Tom Pope being pushed to the ground.
Lewis Short made no mistake once again from twelve yards, firing past the reach of Connor Eastham.
Hartshorn then gave The Bears a well-deserved three goal deficit as he received a Mackenzie Faulkner throw-in on the half turn before firing with his week foot past Eastham.
A goalline scramble followed by an incredible recovery save by Eastham to deny Dan Needham a simple goal stopped the visitor’s from extending their lead even more.
The hosts were rewarded a glimmer of hope on the stroke of half-time as Nathan Nickeas converted a penalty after Jordi Nsaka was penalised for a foul in the box.
Following the interval, Charnock Richard came flying out of the traps with Lewis Haydock scoring a brace within the opening ten minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for The Bears who saw Ryan Read controversially dismissed after he put his hand on Nickeas’ shoulder as Dave Parton went to clear the ball up field. However, in the eyes of the referee, this was deemed a last-man challenge.
The resultant free-kick saw the home side take the lead and Haydock completed his hat-trick in only eight minutes.
Nickeas finished off the scoring for Charnock Richard as the striker was the quickest to react to Dave Parton’s initial save and fire home the re-bound.
With the hectic schedule Congleton Town find themselves in, The Bears only have to wait less than 48 hours to try and turn thinks back around as they prepare to welcome Wythenshawe Town to the Cleric Stadium.