Chesterfield progressed to the North Area Final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy after beating Oldham on penalties following a 1-1 draw at Boundary Park.
The game was settled by penalties, as Danny Philliskirk’s early goal for Oldham was cancelled out by the visitors’ Tendayi Darikwa, who had a huge amount of luck after his headed attempt looped over Paul Rachubka, courtesy of a fortunate bounce on the six-yard line.
The first chance of the match fell to Ollie Banks, but he put his effort low and wide of the post. The hosts’ Mike Petrasso fired a shot into the side netting from an awkward angle.
Philliskirk opened the scoring with 20 minutes gone, after a smart finish past Tommy Lee from close range. Moments later, the Spireites’ Ritchie Humphreys was awarded a yellow card for a wreckless challenge.
The home side’s lead only lasted eight minutes. Talbot’s cross from the right-hand side found Darikwa, who’s headed attempt bounced in the area and over Rachubka.
Evatt looked to have brought down David Mellor in the penalty area, but the referee waved away the Oldham protests. Darikwa went through on goal, although his shot crashed into the side netting when he should have hit the target.
On the stroke of half-time, Liam Cooper had a glancing header that went agonisingly wide of the post.
After the restart, Humphreys’ looping cross clipped the edge of the crossbar and went behind for a goal-kick. Philliskirk had another shot from range that was palmed away by Lee.
Jonson Clarke-Harris rifled a shot that just went wide of the post. Jimmy Ryan’s low cross failed to beat Rachubka, as the goalkeeper gathered possession.
Banks’ through ball was met by Marc Richards, although the linesman’s flag was already raised for off-side. Philliskirk was bearing down on goal but Lee spread himself well to stop the striker in his path. On 81 minutes, Adam Rooney replaced Petrasso. Five minutes later, Anton Rodgers took to the field in place of James Wesolowski for the home side.
It was announced that there would be four minutes of additional time. Seconds later, Gary McSheffrey replaced Cooper as penalties beckoned.
Oldham took the first spot-kick, with Adam Rooney calmly finishing past Lee. Richards then levelled the shoot-out with an effort that gave Rachubka no chance. Philliskirk was up next, although his effort was palmed away from goal. Doyle then gave the Spireites the advantage.
Clarke-Harris made it 2-2, before Ryan put his side back in front. James Tarkowski dispatched his effort with consomate ease, as he placed the ball into the top left-hand corner of the net. Banks’ effort for Chesterfield was saved superbly to the right-hand side by Rachubka.
Korey Smith gave the home side the lead for the first time in the shoot-out after he sent Lee the wrong way. McSheffrey then levelled after a stunning penalty that hit the roof of the net. Grounds put his effort away and then Darikwa calmly equalised.
Rodgers then missed from the spot, giving Talbot had the opportunity to put his side through to the area final, which he did with a low and hard penalty that left the travelling support with thoughts of Wembley once again.