Gateshead Spot On While Altrincham Edge Tense Chester Clash

By Tom Scott

It was worth the 134-day wait for a return to action for Altrincham and Gateshead as they advanced into next week's semi-final.

The pair set up ties with York City and Boston United respectively after edging their nervy eliminators.

Altrincham are in the semi-finals once again after seeing off a stubborn Chester side 3-2.

Alty will be hoping to go one better than their semi-final appearance last season and looked a match for anyone after going 3-0 up.

Dan Mooney blew the cobwebs off with a 25-yard strike to open the scoring when Louis Gray should've really saved it.

It was the Elliott Durrell show after the interval after dispatching a penalty and then a left-footed drive to have his side well on top.

But despite going down to ten men after John Johnston's red card, Chester weren't done.

Ant Dudley capitalised on some slack Alty defending to square for George Glendon who tucked home, subs Matty Waters and Matty Hughes combined for another but it wasn't enough.

Joint-boss Bernard Morley said he and Anthony Johnson were "bursting with pride" after their spirited fightback.

In the later game, only a tense penalty shootout could drive a wedge between Brackley and Gateshead.

A game of little chances sparked into life on the stroke of half-time with two goals in double-quick time.

Jake Cooper nodded home Greg Olley's free-kick at the back post to have the Heed in front.

But seconds later, direct from the resulting kick-off, Shane Byrne unleashed a 55-yard drive that went sailing over Brad James.

James redeemed himself in the shootout, saving three penalties for the travelling Heed side - Ellis Myles' miss meaning Mike Williamson's side progress.

Where next?

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