It was penalty glory for Farsley Celtic as they progressed to the fourth round of the Isuzu FA Trophy, beating Chester FC 5-4 on spot-kicks, after the game had finished 2-2 after 90 minutes.
The visitors twice come from behind to take it all the way to penalties, after goals from Matty Williams and Kole Hall had cancelled out efforts from Farsley forwards Jimmy Spencer and Frank Mulhern.
With the score 4-4 on penalties after five kicks each, the shootout went to sudden death. Chinedu Osadebe’s effort went in off the bar for the Celts and then Hall saw his penalty saved by Max Dearnley, to send Farsley through to a last 32 tie with Marske United on January 14th.
The victory was a fitting tribute to John Palmer, club president and former chairman, who sadly passed away yesterday.
Shootout hero Dearnley was called into action early on for Farsley as he rushed out to make a vital block from Charlie Caton after just eight minutes.
A cagey opening half played out with few chances for either side but the hosts found the break-through on 40 minutes, as left-back Lewis Butroid sent in a dangerous low cross, which was turned in past Harry Tyrer in the Chester goal by the outstretched leg of Spencer.
The visitors wasted a brilliant opportunity from a smart counter-attack on 54 minutes, as the ball was fed to Iwan Murray, but he fired over the crossbar.
But they did level on 68 minutes as Williams netted from close range after Dearnley could only parry a previous shot to the feet of the defender.
Farsley though re-took the lead just five minutes later as loanee Nat Wallace played a through-ball to Mulhern, who had the strength to fight off Jamie Morgan before slotting the ball in between goalkeeper Tyrer’s legs from just a few yards out.
But the Celts couldn’t hold on to win the tie in normal time, with their Cheshire opponents equalising again, with three minutes left on the clock. Morgan fed the ball to the left side of the Farsley box to Caton, who fired in under Dearnley for another close-range goal.
The game then was to be settled on penalties and Farsley got off to the worst start as Mulhern saw his opening kick saved by Tyrer.
Then followed four successful kicks; Willoughby firing top left for Chester, Chris Atkinson hitting his high into the goal, then Declan Weeks slotting down the left before Spencer hammered in for the Celts into the top right corner.
Sub Anthony Dudley then saw his shot to the right saved by Dearnley, to leave the scores ties at 2-2 after three kicks each.
Butroid netted down the middle, as did Chester’s Caton, then Carlton Ubeazuonu slotted in the left corner whilst Adam Thomas scored in the opposite corner, meaning the shoot-out would go to sudden death with the scores at 4-4.
After substitute Osadebe saw his powerful effort cannon off the underside of the bar and in, the pressure was on Chester’s Hall to score; but he faltered with Celts goalkeeper Dearnley making the save to send Farsley into a Round Four tie with Northern Premier League side Marske United in the new year.
Farsley Celtic: Dearnley, Wallace, Butroid, Johnson (Atkinson 74), Butler, Teale, Allan, Ubeazuonu, Spencer, Mulhern, Parkin (Osadebe 48).
Subs not used: Morgan (GK), Assenso, Clayton.
Chester FC: Tyrer, Morgan, Weeks, Willoughby, Thomas, Devine (Dudley 90+3), Williams, Lynch (Daly 65), Murray (Hall 65), Heywood, Caton.
Subs not used: Beswick, Forde, Nelson.
Referee: Will Davis (Manchester)