Chester were eliminated from the FA Trophy this evening in a penalty shootout at fellow National League North side Farsley Celtic.
Farsley went into the interval ahead courtesy of Jimmy Spencer’s 40th minute goal, before Matty Williams drew the Seals level midway through the second half.
Frank Mulhern’s goal gave the hosts the advantage once more, but sub Kole Hall took the game to penalties with a late equaliser.
However Hall, back in the side from injury, was the unfortunate player denied from the spot in sudden death which saw the home side advance 5-4.
Manager Calum McIntyre made three changes from the win at Kidderminster, and was only able to name six of a possible seven substitutes as illness swept through the camp in the build up to the game. This included four Under-18’s in Joe Beswick, Joe Nelson, Sol Forde and Reece Daly.
Chester almost had the first opportunity of the game when Declan Weeks released Charlie Caton, but the onrushing Max Dearnley was able to stop him fortuitously with his legs and clear.
Most of the shots in a scrappy half came from distance, with Weeks and Kurt Willoughby firing off target for the Blues – and it was similar at the other end with Bobby Johnson’s shot failing to trouble Harry Tyrer.
But the hosts got the opener five minutes prior to the break. Lewis Butroid’s cross from the left found Spencer, who slid in and turned the ball into the goal.
Chester looked to respond moments after the break as Weeks released Jamie Morgan following good work initially by Caton and Murray – but the shot was saved by Dearnley.
Tyrer was then called into action moments later, doing well to turn Mulhern’s snapshot volley around the post. Back up the other end and the Yellows almost got level – good work from Caton to square for Murray who fired over from inside the area.
But then McIntyre’s men got themselves level midway through the second half. Weeks’ corner was flicked on by Caton, and as Dearnley failed to hold on to the loose ball, Williams was on hand to stab home.
Nevertheless a matter of minutes later, the Celt Army restored their lead. A long ball over the top found the run of Mulhern who poked it underneath Tyrer and into the back of the net.
However the patched up Yellows wouldn’t lie down and sent a warning when Morgan curled just wide, before sub Hall sent the tie to penalties, turning home an excellent reverse pass from the full-back.
Tyrer saved the first penalty of the shootout from Mulhern, but an Anthony Dudley miss took it to sudden death. Hall was denied by Dearnley with the 12th kick of the shootout which saw the hosts advance.
CHESTER: Tyrer, Thomas, Williams, Heywood, Morgan, Lynch (Daly 65), Devine (Dudley 90+3), Weeks, Murray (Hall 65), Caton, Willoughby.
SUBS NOT USED: Beswick, Forde, Nelson.
SCORERS: Spencer 40, Mulhern 72; Williams 68, Hall 87.