The valiant Magpies 2013/14 FA Trophy run finally came to an end at a windswept and rain soaked Chorley Group Victory Park Stadium.
It took penalties again to decide the tie, but after the ecstasy at Forest Green Rovers it was agony against Tamworth as The Lambs edged through six-five after sixteen spot kicks.
In a pulsating game Chorley twice came from behind to level. First Jake Cottrell equalised on 26 minutes after Nick Chadwick’s 10th minute opener, then after Wayne Thomas had regained the lead for the visitors on the hour mark captain Andy Teague sent the game into extra time with his 92nd minute strike.
The game was open and end to end, much like Saturday’s match, and it was a credit to both sets of players for putting on a spectacle of a cup time in very difficult playing conditions.
Tamworth had the first opening of the match, but Dale Whitham was on hand to head clear the danger, then the same player had the first goal attempt for the home side but couldn’t direct his header at goal.
The Lambs opening the scoring through ex-Evertonian Chadwick who bagged the equalising penalty on Saturday. The former Toffee finished well after Andy Haworth capitalised on a mistake from Adam Roscoe.
Tamworth then had a spell on top, but Chorley clawed the way back into contention, forcing a string of corners, while ex-Rovers player Haworth was a constant threat on the right flank.
Darren Stephenson, back in the starting line-up due to Adam Mathers injury, had a fine game and his pass created the first equaliser; his ball released Josh Hine down the right. The speed merchant soared into the area and crossed for Jake Cottrell who toed the ball beyond Cameron Belford to send the vast majority of a season’s best attendance of 1,393 wild.
Chorley took control in the latter stages of the opening 45. Keil O’Brien headed narrowly wide, Roscoe shot over the bar, Teague followed with a shot over and then James Dean rattled the wood work.
O’Brien made a super tackle to keep Haworth out, but a minute later Tamworth were back in front. Sam Ashton did his best to keep the visitors out but two superb point blank saves weren’t enough as Thomas found the roof of the goal from close range.
Tamworth upped a gear and it looked like the full-timers might see the tie out, but the part-time Magpies, from two divisions below, just don’t know when they’re beaten and kept fighting to the end.
Cottrell forced a save from Belford while last ditch tackles from Roscoe and Teague prevented Tamworth from adding a third.
Hine broke almost the full length of the pitch, but Belford save well, then Haworth wasted an golden opportunity, firing well wide with Ashton caught miles off his goal line.
The referee indicated a minimum of four minutes of added time would be required and two minutes into this Teague struck. From a corner Dean forced a save from Belford a Teague was on hand to slam in the rebound from a tight angle sending Victory Park into raptures, then with just seconds remaining the referee turned down strong appeals for a Chorley penalty after what appeared a clear handball in the area from Thomas.
So into extra-time, again!
Both side started slowly with the pitch claiming many pairs of tired legs, the only action of note seeing Teague’s perfectly timed sliding tackle block a Justin Richards effort.
The second period brought a second wind to the home side and Chorley could have and maybe should have won the tie in this final fifteen minutes.
Cottrell drove at goal, but it grazed the outside of the post then after Belford failed to punch clear a Jarvis cross, Dean headed narrowly wide, then Dean forced a fine save from Belford, the keeper diving to push his shot wide.
Goalmouth scrambles in the mud were becoming regular occurrences, but each time Tamworth seemed to have luck on their side with the ball often bouncing kindly for their defenders.
With neither side able to add to the score, penalties were called upon and when the officials finally found the penalty spot in the mud Dean stepped up to fire in the first.
Richard Baker, Stephenson and Gavin Mahon all scored to make it two-all after four penalties.
Now it was the time of the keepers as Belford denied Whitham and Vermiglio while Ashton kept out Richards and Haworth.
Roscoe and Thomas netted the final two of the first ten to take it into sudden death.
Teague slotted the first; Peniket replied.
Jarvis restored the home sides lead only for Capaldi to level again.
Then is was Jake Cottrell’s turn, but Belford saved well before Keane netted the winner.
After a superb effort the Magpies can hold their heads proudly high after more than holding their own against two Skrill Premier side for a total of 420 minutes.
Chorley XI: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Jake Cottrell, Andy Teague, Keil O’Brien, Adam Roscoe, Josh Hine, Dale Whitham, James Dean, Darren Stephenson, Paul Jarvis
Subs: Jamie Vermiglio (Hine, 100), Keiran Walmsley, Simon Wiles, Alex Meaney, Aaron Grundy
Goals: Nick Chadwick (10), JAKE COTTRELL (26), Wayne Thomas (60), ANDY TEAGUE (90+2)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Every single player; a truly outstanding performance against full-time opposition for the fourth time in the competition