FC Halifax Town set up a Wembley date with Grimsby Town – but they were made to fight for it by a spirited Nantwich Town side.
Jordan Burrow’s double sealed the Shaymen’s route into the FA Trophy final, although the visitors pushed them close through Liam Shotton and Matt Bailey.
The simplicity of Halifax’s opener suggested a routine victory; Josh MacDonald tore down the left flank and played a low ball across for top goalscorer Burrow to finish.
FC Halifax Town 2 (6) Nantwich Town 2 (4)
Semi Final, Second Leg
Saturday 19 March
By Liz Owen
But it was not quite as straightforward as anticipated as Nantwich hit back six minutes later through Shotton, who held off his marker to loft a delightful angled shot into the bottom corner.
They then took the lead shortly after the half-hour mark through Bailey, who rose highest to turn a powerful header home at the near post, but Burrows secured it at the death as the unfortunate Andy White turned his low effort past Terry Smith.
In an entertaining first half, Halifax saw two chances to strengthen their aggregate advantage go amiss.
Kingsley James found the net after 25 minutes, poking home amidst a goalmouth scramble, but it was ruled out by referee Peter Bankes for a foul on Smith.
And minutes before half-time, the Shaymen were then awarded a penalty after Sam Walker was hauled down; Burrow’s spot-kick, however, was well-saved by the opposing keeper.
A resilient Nantwich created plenty of opportunities and could have added to their tally through Elliot Osborne, who placed his shot off-target after Josh Hancock’s curling strike was saved.
The introduction of Shaquille McDonald provided the home side with added vigour, while both of the Dabbers’ goalscorers were withdrawn injured, yet an off-colour Halifax could not add to their tally until late on, as Burrow had the final say to send The Shay into raptures.