Last-gasp Chorley through on penalties

Chorley hero Sam Ashton
Chorley hero Sam Ashton
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Boston United 2 Chorley 2 (Chorley win 5-4 on pens)

On an afternoon of unimaginable high drama Chorley edged into the final of the Conference North promotion play-offs, rescuing an apparently lost cause with the last kick of the match.

They then hung on with 10 men in extra time before triumphing 5-4 in a shoot-out of no fewer than 14 penalties.

Their rich reward is a home final against Guiseley at Victory Park on Saturday.

Although the Magpies were heroes to a man, the crucial contributions of long-serving midfielder Adam Roscoe and keeper Sam Ashton were pivotal to victory.

Roscoe’s incredible Rooney-esque bicycle kick in the fifth minute of added time dispatched the ball into the top corner of the net to level the tie at 2-2.

And then in a dramatic shoot-out after extra time proved goalless, Ashton saved three Boston penalties to evoke memories of the similar feat he performed in last season’s FA Trophy win at Forest Green.

“I’m shattered,” said boss Garry Flitcroft afterwards.

“It was such a good game. I’m so proud of each and every one of my players. Their mental strength and attitude were once again first-class.

“It was against the run of play that we were two goals down but we came back. Adam Roscoe’s strike was goal of the season and Sam’s penalty saves were absolutely outstanding.”

Urged on as they were throughout by more than 300 travelling fans in a crowd of 3,174, Chorley made the brighter start.

Bur Boston were two up through Scott Garner and Kaine Felix either side of the interval.

Chorley’s reply was swift. On 56 minutes Dale Whitham’s deep free-kick was collected beyond the far post by Chris Doyle who squeezed a shot past Max Stryjek.

Late Chorley pressure seemed to have been in vain until, in the fifth minute of added time, Roscoe etched his name in the memory of all Magpies’ fans who witnessed his priceless party-trick.

In extra time, Roscoe was sent off for a second bookable offence but Chorley limped to the final whistle.

So it went to penalties with Ashton dramatically saving the 14th kick of the shootout to win it for the Magpies.

Flitcroft said: “The players are bouncing in that dressing-room and can’t wait for next Saturday.”

CHORLEY: Ashton, Ross, Jarvis, Teague (Flynn), Doyle, Roscoe, Hine (Burns), Whitham, Dean, Winter (Almond), Dorney. Subs (not used): Cottrell, Mather.

Attendance : 3,174