GAINSBOROUGH Trinity’s FA Cup dreams were shattered by an extra-time goal in Chester on Tuesday night, as they went down 2-1.
The Blues grabbed a last minute equaliser through Jamie Yates to keep the tie alive, but were undone by substitute Levi Mackin’s shot 15 seconds into the second period of extra-time at the Exacta Stadium.
Chester will now entertain FC Halifax Town in the biggest tie of the third qualifying round on Saturday.
A 65th minute goal by replacement Dominic Collins had put Chester 1-0 ahead, but Trinity substitute Jamie Yates earned the visitors extra-time when he smashed home a 25 yard shot to equalise in the 89th minute.
Chester’s Dave Hankin looked influential during the opening exchanges with a series of probing runs.
His eighth minute charge along the right flank was followed by a low cross into the area which visiting keeper Jan Budtz cleared as far as Matty McGinn whose clipped pass into the area was easily claimed by Budtz.
Hankin’s initiative a minute later culminated in another dangerous low delivery into the area which Budtz had to gather at his second attempt.
Trinity striker Dominic Knowles was presented with his team’s first scoring chance in the 11th minute, but his header from Terry Hawkridge’s right sided corner was held by Blues keeper John Danby.
Shane Clarke shrugged off a challenge by Ian Howard on the edge of the Chester area, but then saw his cross blocked and cleared.
Hawkridge then attempted a long range shot seconds later which Danby comfortably dealt with.
Home fans believed Chester had broken the deadlock in the 15th minute when Marc Williams crafted an inch perfect right wing cross for Nathan Jarman whose glancing header flew fractionally wide of the left post.
But Trinity responded when Dominic Knowles struck a goalbound shot that deflected o into the grateful clutches of Danby.
Antoni Sarcevic charged forward in a 38th minute solo run before being fouled on the edge of the Trinity box. Wes Baynes stepped up to take the free-kick on the left edge of the area and clipped a shot which bounced narrowly wide of the far post.
Trinity created the last goalscoring opportunity of the half a minute into stoppage time, but Michael Leary was left holding his head in his hands after firing a 10 yard shot over the bar.
Chester enjoyed the lion’s share of possession early in the second half but failed to test Budtz.
Baynes’ left sided corner found Sarcevic in the 54th minute, but the midfielder miscued his attempted volley from the edge of the area.
And Jarman clipped a shot from the left edge of the box in the 56th minute which flew beyond Budtz and the far post.
Trinity weathered the pressure and won a free-kick 25 yards from goal on the hour which Knowles drilled low towards goal, but Danby managed to tip the ball round his left post.
It was 1-0 to the hosts when substitute Collins was in the right place at the right time to touch a back post effort into the net after McGinn’s right sided corner had threaded its way through a crowded area.
Hawkridge did well to weave his way into space a minute later before hitting a 20 yard shot fractionally wide of the right post.
Gainsborough were relieved to see Baynes’ free-kick crash against the bar, and at the other end Knowles had a header saved by Danby.
But there was nothing the keeper could do on 89 minutes when Yates fired home from distance from a half-cleared corner.
Danby came to Chester’s rescue a minute into stoppage time when he pulled off a superb save to deny Knowles’ close range header from Nelthorpe’s cross on the left edge of the box.
Just 15 seconds of the second half of extra-time had elapsed when Mackin drilled home Chester’s second, breaking Trinity hearts.
Next up for Steve Housham’s men is the visit of Droylsden on Saturday (3pm, Northolme).
Chester: Danby 8; Baynes 7, Horan 8, Linwood 7 (Collins 36), McGinn 8; Hankin 9 (Booth 106), Brown 8, Sarcevic 8 (Mackin 86), Howard 7; Jarman 8, M Williams 8. Subs (not used): Fearon, Powell, Clancy, A Williams.
Trinity: Budtz 7; Roma 8, Hone 8, Young 8; Waterfall 8, Wilde 7 (Nelthorpe 61), Leary 8 (Banks 114), D’Laryea 7, Hawkridge 9; Clarke 7 (Yates 74), Knowles 8. Subs (not used): Williams, Ridley, Karkach.
Referee: Simeon Lucas (Darwen).