Chester advanced on penalties in the FA Youth Cup at the Leap76 Stadium, knocking Altrincham out of the competition for the second successive season.
Mike Allcock’s side made a bright start and almost took the lead after ten minutes, as Oskar Rosenblatt’s free kick was met by the head of Henry Briscoe, but Dane Byron got down well to make the save.
At the other end Billy Davies had to be alert to deny George Raftery, before an excellent solo run from Rosenblatt for the Blues was brought to a halt by a low save from Byron.
Alty then struck the crossbar on 38 minutes, some neat play on the edge of the area ended with Harrison Howells seeing his effort crash against the woodwork and away.
It was a big moment, as just a couple of minutes later Chester took the lead. Michael Jamieson’s long throw was flicked on by Briscoe and turned home at the back post by Luca Boon.
The Blues then had the chance to double their advantage just moments after the break. Jamieson’s long throw was this time handled in the box by a visiting defender and Referee Jamie Tomlinson pointed to the spot.
Captain Adam Bott stepped up, but his powerful low effort was kept out by the legs of Byron.
Altrincham had a lifeline and started to apply pressure in search of an equaliser, as Howells turned one just wide from close range before Davies saved well from Ben Atkinson.
However they did get their equaliser on 74 minutes, a superb defence splitting pass from skipper Joel Bailey found the run of sub Edson Cata, who took the ball away from the onrushing Davies and fired into an unguarded net.
Alty almost won it in stoppage time as a curling cross from Max Whittle evaded everyone, but bounced inches wide of the far post.
The game went straight to penalties and Chester kept their composure as Bott, Rosenblatt, Ellis Platt and Louie Westhead all scored – allowing Davies to be the shootout hero – saving from Bailey and Sam Taylor to seal Chester’s place in the Third Qualifying Round.
Chester U18’s: B Davies, Jamieson, Briscoe, Platt, Duff, Bott, Butler (Atkinson 82), Beswick (Muirhead 88), P Davies, Boon (Westhead 73), Rosenblatt.
Subs Not Used: Young, Thompson, Cooke, Pilgrim.
Scorers: Boon 40; Cata 74.
Photos courtesy of Cody Froggatt.