Chesterfield 2-2 Notts County (3-4 on pens): National League playoff final goes to penalties – live reaction | Soccer

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Chesterfield 2-2 Notts County (3-4 on pens): National League playoff final goes to penalties – live reaction | Soccer

13.14 EDT

Extra time, full time, Chesterfield 2-2 Notts County

After a breathless spell of extra time, it’s official: the game will be decided by penalties. There have been some late substitutions which will affect the shootout, not least Williams bringing off Slocombe, his starting goalkeeper, for Archie Mair. Baldwin has also made way, with Richard Brindley on in his place.

Updated at 13.14 EDT

13.10 EDT

Azure writes in. “It’s the nature of football and all, but it must be soul-destroying to finish a narrow second, miles ahead of the other playoff contenders, without getting promoted. But County’ve dragged themselves back level! Late drama?” That’s a guarantee!

Updated at 13.10 EDT

13.07 EDT

Just catching up on my emails. “Hi Will!” Hello, Joe Pearson. “It seems like all the press was that County should go up this year, just so the National League would be competitive next year, given their resources and whatnot. But if they fail here, doesn’t it seem likely that they will earn the one automatic spot at the next time of asking?” It’s a bit early to be thinking of next season, isn’t it? Keeping up with the last five minutes of extra time seems challenging enough.

Updated at 13.07 EDT

13.01 EDT

110 min County aren’t interested in penalties, swamping Chesterfield’s area and leaving their opponents in total disarray as they chase a winner. Nemane almost forces his way through, as does Scott, resulting in two chaotic scrambles in quick succession.

Updated at 13.01 EDT

12.53 EDT

Another email has landed in the inbox, this time from Alexandra Harbison. “Wrexham may be Deadpool’s team, but based off this season, Notts County might be the Juggernaut’s… or JuggerNotts, if you will.” Commendably terrible pun, that. Good Marvel knowledge, too.

Updated at 12.56 EDT

12.51 EDT

Extra time, half-time, Chesterfield 2-1 Notts County

Chesterfield outlast a lengthy siege of their box, surviving a near miss when Nemane skips in behind – only to see his shot blocked – and another when Rawlinson curls just wide from the edge of the area. If they can resist County for another 15 minutes, they will return to the Football League for the first time since 2018.

Updated at 12.51 EDT

12.29 EDT

Full time, Chesterfield 1-1 Notts County

If Bostock’s goal was an absolute sickener for Chesterfieldthey didn’t let it show. They came straight back at County, showing they still have the stomach for the fight.

Their opponents will have an exhilarating sense of deju vu, however. Having come from behind to win in the semi-finals, they will fancy their chances of repeating the trick in extra time or, if it comes to it, from the penalty spot.

Updated at 12.35 EDT

12.24 EDT

90+1 min Dobra catches Jones with a late tackle and, in retaliation, Jones barges him from behind. Dobra goes down in a heap but thankfully the referee, Matthew Corlett, is in no mood for nonsense, steadfastly ignoring both of them.

Updated at 12.24 EDT

12.19 EDT

GOAL! Chesterfield 1-1 Notts County (Bostock 88)

County win yet another free kick and, this time, Bostock steps up. He spots Fitzsimons out of position and smashes in a shot which sneaks in at the near post, sending the County fans absolutely spare. With a little over two minutes to go, they have their leveller! It’s back on!

John Bostock celebrates his late equaliser. Photograph: Zac Goodwin/PA

Updated at 12.32 EDT

11.57 EDT

64 min The game is seriously stretched now but, even so, neither side can carve out a clear opportunity. County make another change, Austin making way for Cedwyn Scott in an attacking substitution from Williams.

Updated at 11.57 EDT

11.48 EDT

54 min Jones, the magic man, is on for Chicksen, who has had a frustrating afternoon all told. Darren Oldaker picks up a first caution for Chesterfieldwhile Cook is also booked for his protests on the sidelines.

Updated at 11.48 EDT

11.27 EDT

Half-time, Chesterfield 1-0 Notts County

After a strange start to the game, with an early wobble from Slocombe gifting Chesterfield their opener, County gradually grew in stature and ended the first half with the lion’s share of possession. Their end product left much to be desired, however, and Chesterfield looked poised to hit them on the counter.

The game is finely balanced at the break and could still go either way. County need to turn their dominance of the ball into something more concrete, while another goal for Cook’s side, even against the run of play, could well knock the stuffing out of them. Then again, never rule out a County comeback.

It’s advantage Chesterfield at half-time. Photograph: Michael Zemanek/Shutterstock

Updated at 11.30 EDT

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