St Ives Town worked hard to earn a replay in a feisty FA Cup preliminary round tie which hinged on a strange refereeing decision in the 70th minute.

The official must have been the only one in the ground who thought Dereham should have a penalty and that the “offence” was worthy of a second yellow card for the unfortunate Will Muzuimbiri.

The Saints started well and took a seventh minute lead when Muzuimbiri and Scott Sinclair combined for Ben Seymour-Shove to expertly lob home keeper Andy Wilton.

They went close to doubling their advantage on 15 minutes via a Jon Stead free kick and while Aaron Kay twice went close as the home side enjoyed the better of the possession, Muzuimbiri forced Wilton into a fine save.

Ives were comfortable so it was a surprise when Ryan Hawkins equalised on the half hour, but that setback acted as a spur and as they dominated after the interval, Seymour-Shove netted his second after the hard working Muzuimbiri laid on the chance in the 67th. The complexion of the game changed when the referee spotted a pull by Muzuimbiri when everyone else felt the keeper had been fouled. Not only did he award a penalty but he also deemed the offence worthy of a second yellow.

Borror took advantage of the “soft” spot kick and the Ives had keeper McLaughlin to thank for keeping them on level terms as he twice denied the dangerous Borror, first pushing away a fierce drive and then plunging bravely at his feet.

Ives regained their composure and went close to grabbing the winner on two occasions, when Stead fired over the top and when Seymour-Shove was denied his hat-trick by an offside flag.

A trip to St Neots Town awaits Dereham after last night's replay which ended up on penalties following a 3-3 draw after extra time. Eason and Seymour-Shove's penalties were saved, while Muzuimbiri missed the target, enabling Dereham's three successful spot kicks to send them through to the next round.