By John Baron
Farsley Celtic keeper Max Dearnley made two penalty shoot-out saves as the home side defeated Chester 5-4 on penalties during an emotional FA Trophy tie at the Citadel.
The match started with an impeccably observed minute’s silence for club president and former chairman John Palmer, who passed away yesterday. John would have been proud of his club’s performance.
The 90 minutes had finished 2-2. Farsley took the lead in a scrappy first half – Jimmy Spencer sliding home from a superb Lewis Butroid cross.
Chester came back in the second half, with Matty Williams prodding home from close range on 68 minutes after Dearnley failed to hold on to the loose ball.
But the Celts were back in front within four minutes. Nat Wallace did superbly to send Mulhern on his way, the striker shrugging off a defender before prodding home when one-on-one.
The Celts were happy to absorb late Chester pressure until the visitors’ sub Kole Hall took the game to penalties with an 86th minute equaliser Dearnley will again feel he could have done better with.
The game then headed to the lottery of penalties. Mulhern’s weak effort was saved by Chester keeper Tyrer, Dearnley then went from villain to hero, superbly saving Anthony Dudley’s effort to his left.
The shootout went to sudden death, with Dearnley – who has an impressive penalty saving record this season – saving the 12th kick of the shootout to see the hosts advance.
Farsley’s shootout scorers were Atkinson, Spencer, Butroid, Ubeazuonu and Osadebe.
It was revenge for the home side who last month were reduced to eight men in a 2-0 home league defeat against Chester.
The Celts will now entertain Northern Premier League side Marske United on January 14 as they reach the last 32 of the FA Trophy.
They’re next in action on Boxing Day when they visit Bradford (Park Avenue), with a 1pm kick off. Boss Russ Wilcox will be hoping the injuries picked up by key duo Luke Parkin and Bobby Johnson aren’t too serious.
Farsley Celtic: Dearnley, Wallace, Butroid, Johnson (Atkinson), Butler, Teale, Allan, Ubaezuono, Spencer, Mulhern, Parkin (Osadebe).
Chester: Tyrer, Thomas, Williams, Heywood, Morgan, Lynch (Daly), Devine (Dudley), Weeks, Murray (Hall), Caton, Willoughby.
Man of the match: Lewis Butroid.
Referee: Will Davis (Manchester)