Wealdstone advanced into the final qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup after a patient but battling performance to overcome Hungerford Town 2-1 at a soggy Bulpit Lane on Saturday.

Second-half goals from a back-from-injury Bradley Bubb and Fumnaya Shomotun were enough to see off the Crusaders in front of a surprisingly low attendance of 306 for this stage of the competition.

Stones started the tie in good form and were stringing passes together but soon realised they were to face a packed defence and would be closed down quickly at every opportunity by the resolute home side.

The away side soon created several good chances though, with Bradley Hudson-Odoi going close early on after an opportunity spawned by a superb crash tackle by Freddie Grant in midfield.

Hungerford for their part were creating little but defended stoically and looked for a mistake or a set-piece to create an opening.

Hudson-Odoi again went close on 18 minutes via good work from Wadah Ahmidi and two minutes later Town finally had a half-chance on goal but the ball flashed well over from Danilo Orsi-Dadomo’s header.

After Stones almost got caught on a rare break-out, Shomotun produced a great run through the defence and struck the cross bar.

Odoi went close again but was then substituted after a head injury required medical attention despite the winger’s displeasure at not being allowed to continue.

Hungerford continued to frustrate their opponents with strong defending but the feeling among the visitors was that playing down the slope in the second period would bring reward, as long as Bobby Wilkinson’s men stayed patient and kept the ball on the ground.

The visitors were quickly back on the front foot after the break, with Bubb trying his luck with a snap shot that could only be parried by home keeper Michael Luyambula but no player was on hand to seize on the loose ball.

Substitute Jeffrey Monakana’s cross was almost turned in by the on-rushing Danny Green as the game became more finely balanced with Town breaking up play increasingly effectively.

The breakthrough for Stones finally came on 66 minutes when Shomotun’s skill on the right allowed Bubb to hook home past Luyambula.

With the Crusaders now a goal behind, they were forced to chase the game and more space was created for the eager visitors as their tempo ratcheted up.

Monakana’s strength and pace saw him smash a strike off the woodwork as Wealdstone looked to kill the game off with the clock ticking down. And the decisive goal came with 10 minutes to go when, following a Green corner, Shomotun showed his skills and lashed the ball home.

The home side weren’t going to lie down though, and two minutes later a smart finish from Orsi-Dadomo brought some tension back to the tie.

However, the visitors were able to manage the remainder of the game reasonably comfortably and ran the clock down despite four minutes of added time

Wealdstone: North, Sheppard, Grant, Stevens, Okimo, Poku, Shomotun, Ahmidi, Bubb, Green, Hudson-Odoi. Subs used: Monakana, Lench, Slew. Not used: Wilson, Wheeler, Clark, Mambo.