FC Halifax Town will compete at Wembley in the FA Trophy Final as they won 6-4 on aggregate against Northern Premier League side Nantwich Town.
But they did it the hard way, as they only secured their place in Non-League Finals Day in the final moments of an intriguing tie.
The National League side started the brighter and from a free kick, in the first minute, Nantwich captain Sam Hall was able to clear only as far as Sam Walker to break through on the Nantwich goal but he screwed his shot wide.
Nantwich needed a good start but they didn’t get it when on four minutes when MacDonald cut down the byline beating Mat Bailey and his cross found Jordan Burrows, who turned home for the Shaymen from around 12-yards out to make it 5-2 on aggregate and 1-0 on the day.
But on nine minutes the Dabbers were level as Sean Cooke, who had a good game for the NPL club split open the Halifax defence with a through ball to Liam Shotton and he lifted the ball past Sam Johnson to make the Dabbers dream of Wembley once again.
The goal was crucial for Nantwich as they started to grow into the tie showing some of the magic they had used this season.
Kosylo showed more of it with a surging run down the line before crossing to Shotton. However, it missed the head of the Nantwich forward and sailed out for a goal kick.
Andy White loves a goal in the FA Trophy and he almost profited on the half-hour mark, when he got into the area after a nice one-two with Kosylo before smashing the post, the rebound drifted harmlessly out of play for a goal kick.
Nantwich took the lead on the half mark when a Cooke corner was headed in by Mat Bailey to give them a glimmer of hope of reaching a historic final at Wembley. It was right into the corner of the goal, inch-perfect and a second goal in a week for the defender after he netted at Ramsbottom United in midweek.
Nantwich could have gone level in the tie on 42 minutes as Kosylo played in Shotton but his shot was blocked by Johnson. The ball fell to Osborne but his effort from outside the area was cleared by the National League side.
Halifax won a penalty after Walker was upended in the area but Smith guessed right and saved Jordan Burrow’s effort beating it away from goal.
That save meant the Dabbers went into half time with the lead.
On 56 minutes Nantwich lost the influence Bailey who landed straight on his shoulder and had to come off for Jon Moran. A big blow for the Dabbers losing a man who played over 200 games for the club.
Gordon was almost the hero for Nantwich on 69 minutes, a long ball from Moran found Gordon and with Johnson committed he tried to lift it over the keeper. But alas it went out for a goal kick.
Halifax was still trying to turn the match around and on seventy one minutes skipper Wroe went on a jinking run. But he shot was wide of the goal, although had the shot been on target Smith had it covered.
The Dabbers were tiring with such a hectic fixture schedule, however they didn’t give up as on 78 minutes Kosylo got onto a long ball and took off for the goal. His shot from, just inside the area was straight at Johnson, and it was an easy catch for the Shaymen keeper.
Halifax could have won the tie in the 84th minute when a cross found Burrows. His shot was saved by Smith and went out for a corner. A vital save, as Nantwich clung onto the hope of going to Wembley.
But with just a two minutes remaining Halifax were level on the day when a cross from Wroe came off White, who diverted past Smith to send the Shaymen through to Wembley.
A cruel way for Nantwich to go out as Halifax held out for the win over the two ties and booked their place at Wembley for an FA Trophy Final showdown with league rivals Grimsby Town.
FC Halifax Town (4-3-3): Johnson, Bolton, Brown, Bencherif, McManus, Roberts, Wroe (C), MacDonald, Burrows, Walker, James Subs: Porter, Hibbs, Peniket, Fairhurst, McDonald
Goalscorers: Burrow 3 and 89
Nantwich Town (4-3-3): Smith, White, Short, Harrison, Bailey, Osborne, Kosylo, Hall (C), Shotton, Cooke and Hancock Subs: Bell, Burzysnki, Moran, Borne, Gordon
Goalscorers: Shotton 9, Bailey 31
Referee: Peter Bankes
Non-League Daily Man of the Match: Sean Cooke (Nantwich Town)
Report: Richard Scott (@richscottmedia)
Tickets are now on sale for Non-League Finals Day! Morpeth Town meet Hereford FC in the FA Vase Final and National League clubs FC Halifax Town and Grimsby Town face each other in the FA Trophy Final.
That all takes place at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 22nd May and you buy tickets via the FA website here