A Lincoln City squad, that included four ex-Mansfield Town stars, helped the club reach Wembley for the first time in their history as they won a dramatic penalty shoot-out 4-2 against Chelsea U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy semi-finals last night.
A packed crowd of 9,444 at Sincil Bank saw strikers Ollie Palmer and Matt Green net penalties, though former Stags defender Luke Waterfall fired his against a post, having scored a goal earlier in the 1-1 draw.
The other ex-Mansfield star, Matt Rhead, did not get the chance of a spot kick having been replaced by Palmer on 67 minutes.
Palmer’s delight at the result and goal will have cheered him immensely after the emotion of earlier applause from fans in memory of his 11-year-old cousin who has just died of cancer.
In the end the crucial winning penalty was scored by Lee Frecklington – a player Mansfield boss Steve Evans failed to sign in the January transfer window – sparking a pitch invasion by the home fans.
Waterfall’s header had given the League Two side the lead on 72 minutes only to see Daishawn Redan level from 10 yards six minutes later.
Chelsea had been bidding to become the first academy side to reach the final since development squads were admitted into the competition last season.
En route to the semis Lincoln had won 3-1 at Mansfield in the opening group stages with Green and Plamer both netting against their old club.
Yeovil and Shrewsbury will meet on Tuesday, 27th February to decide who will meet Lincoln in the final on Sunday, 8th April.