On a cold damp night in Preston the Spireites fought bravely and never gave up to Triumph in the Penalty shoot out. With Tommy Lee back in goal, the Spireites faithful sang "We've got our Tommy back". What a difference he made, pulling off a string of saves when his team mates started to tire near the end, he even managed to pull off an acrobatic save from his own player Aaron Downes who apart from that was magnificent in the heart of defence.
It was end stuff with Town creating more chances than their opponents, although they went behind on 16 minutes through a corner, headed home by McCombe. The Spireites deservedly levelled the scores, when Drew Talbot made a good run, his shot was blocked by the keeper and Craig Weatcarr was there to tap it home. Preston hit the post with deflection off Downes, and Weatcarr also hit the woodwork when his effort hit just inside the crowded penalty hit the post.
The second half the heavens opened up and conditions were awful, it didnt stop the teams from providing an entertaining second half with chances at either end. Chances for Bowery and Clarke who replaced him. Mellor was twice denied through brilliant saves from Tommy Lee.
Then it was time for the dreaded penalties, nails were bitten, fans pacing up and down, nerves jangling, hate to think what it was like for the players. They were being taken at the Preston end, which suddenly had come alive, a very noisey Preston end. The Spireite players would need nerves of steel.
Up stepped Westcarr, a brilliant save from the keeper. Parry scored 1-0 to Preston. Whittaker calmly slots it away 1-1. Mellor makes it 2-1, Clarke ex Preston steps up to take it, loudly booed by their fans, but calmly slots it in the corner giving their keeper no chance. Up steps their penalty expert who hardly ever misses hits it miles over the bar. Town are back in it, Morgan scores, Tommy lee saves from Coults. By this time I had lost count, overwhelmed by excitement. Up steps Mendy, he cooly slots the ball past the keeper. The Town players run towards him, yes we have done it.
The Spireites Triumph to reach the Nortern JPT Final, to face Oldham over two legs the first being at Oldham on the 17th or 18th of January. Win on aggregate and the Spireites are on their way to Wembley. Hopefully this will be the boost they need to get off the bottom of league one and up the table.
Next Wycombe away the team just above in the league. With Tommy Lee back in goal, anything is possible, it shows you how a good goalkeeper can make a difference to a team. Welcome back Tommy you have been sorely missed.
Member since: 7th July 2012
I am a blogger for the Derbyshire Times living in Chesterfield. I like to write about the Spireites, whom i follow Home and Away. I will be writing on here, about the season ahead, Match previews, Reports...