Chester’s U-19’s were edged out at the Deva Stadium as FC Halifax Town advanced in the National League Academy Cup on penalties.
The first chance came the way of the hosts as Captain Harrison Burke flicked on Sol Ashworth’s long throw, but Jay Lee fired the loose ball wide.
However the Seals were in front moments later. Reece Daly’s corner found Sam Hughes who struck the post with his shot, but Zack Clarke was on hand to smash home the rebound.
After a quiet period in the game, the Shaymen got level on the half hour mark. A long ball over the top from Tom Uniatowicz was well controlled and then finished by Lucas Schofield.
Chester had a chance to go back in front before the break when they got a penalty after 38 minutes. Hughes slipped through Burke who beat ‘keeper Charlie English to the ball and was tripped.
Referee Gavin Prior pointed to the spot, and Clarke stepped up but was denied by English who made a solid low save to his left.
Nevertheless just four minutes after the break Clarke did make it a brace – and a lot was owed to the excellent work of Burke. The skipper for the night jumped on to a loose ball, nutmegged a defender to drive forward and cross for the striker to tap home.
But Halifax wouldn’t go away and were level once again on 71 minutes. A corner from the right was whipped dangerously into the box and initially scrambled clear, but visiting skipper Ben Darby was on hand to steer the loose ball home via a deflection.
A breathless game would bring more late drama, as a goal apiece sent the last 16 tie to penalties.
Calum McIntyre’s men looked to have won it on 87 minutes when Burke turned home the rebound after Dan Collins had been initially denied by English, but within seconds of the restart a deep cross was headed home by sub Louis Ennis.
In the shootout the Shaymen took five successful spot kicks to advance to the quarter finals with ‘keeper English – who had already denied Clarke in the 90 – crucially saving Ashworth’s attempt.
CHESTER: Smith (Beswick 90+5), Rg Daly, Forde, Ashworth, Lee, Buckley-Benbow, Rc Daly, Hughes (Griffiths 75), Giani (Collins 82), Clarke, Burke.
SUBS NOT USED: Bavington, Bradley.
SCORERS: Clarke 4 & 49, Burke 87; Schofield 30, Darby 71, Ennis 89.