Chaddy's spot-kick agony

Reporter: Simon Smedley
Date published: 21 April 2017

IT proved to be the ultimate heartbreak for brave Chadderton last night as they bowed out of the Hallmark Security League Macron Cup competition on penalties at the semi-final stage.

A bumper crowd packed into the ARK Fleetech Stadium as First Division Chaddy - already holding a 2-0 advantage from their first leg away victory - welcomed City of Liverpool.

A glamour final against Premier Division Barnoldswick Town at Fleetwood Town's plush Highbury Stadium was awaiting the winners, and after 85 minutes last night it was Mark Howard's men who looked odds-on to make it with the score still goalless.

However, goals from Joe Carmozzi and Matt Williams inside three dramatic minutes took the thrilling game into extra-time.

No further goals were added, so this last-four tie was about to be settled by a nail-biting penalty shoot-out.

Chaddy led 3-2 after three spot-kicks each, but they missed their last two attempts and the Merseysiders went on to the reach the final.

Despite the heart-breaking defeat, Chaddy boss Mark Howard showered praise on his weary players, who matched their highly-paid counterparts stride for stride.

An emotional Howard said: "I'm gutted, I'm devastated, but I thought the lads were great overall and I'm proud of them.

"We saw an early opportunity from Aaron Scholes missed and if that had gone in things might have been different, but I'm just proud of how they all played.

"Our season isn't finished yet. We've still want to finish in the top eight so we can get into the FA Cup next season, and we have to go for that now.

"It is the worst way to lose, it's a horrible way to go, but we lost to a good side who are paying good money to their players, and we matched them.

"We've been tremendous all season, though, so we just have to come back fighting again now."

Chadderton are back in league action tomorrow when they travel to rock-bottom Ashton Town.

AFTER finally sealing Evo-Stik League Division One North survival last weekend with a gritty 2-1 win over Glossop North End, Mossley bring the curtain down on their disappointing season with a trip to Tadcaster Albion tomorrow.