Abbey Hey suffered late heartbreak as a stoppage-time winner from Joe Bevan secured New Mills’ place in the North West Counties First Division South Play-Off Final with a 1-0 win.
It was the home side who had the game’s first real chance to open the scoring, as a corner came into the area and a header at the far post struck the cross-bar of Joe Lawton’s goal.
Abbey Hey went close themselves minutes later through Dylan Fitzgerald who fired straight at the New Mills keeper after the ball fell to him in the penalty area, before Jordan Lazenbury curled a 25-yard free kick over the bar from the edge of the area.
The visitors started the second-half as the stronger side and went close through Rhys Clooney, who forced the keeper into a low save after turning onto his left foot from the right-hand side to shoot on goal.
Chances kept on coming for Terry Hincks’ side and captain Aaron Fleming was denied with a header on goal, as he connected with a corner into the area, before Lazenbury went clear through on goal but he was unable to hit the target as he fired well over the bar.
New Mills went close again with another corner as they hit the bar from the in-swinging cross, but it looked like neither side could find an opening in a tight second half between the two sides.
Abbey were denied a stonewall penalty with less than ten minutes to go. Midfielder Tom Murray danced his way through the New Mills defence, before being taken out in the penalty area, but the referee deemed the Abbey player to dive and handed him a yellow card.
As the game looked like it was heading to extra-time, the home side were gifted a lifeline as they took control of the game and broke Abbey’s hearts well into injury time. Jay Hamzat’s back pass was intercepted by Bevan, who fired low across goal beyond Lawton to ensure New Mills’ place in next week’s play-off final.
They will take on either FC Isle of Man or Wythenshawe Amateurs, who kick off in Douglas this evening at 8:00pm in the other play-off semi-final.
Abbey Hey: Lawton (GK), Dunford, Fleming (C), Hamzat, Norris, Parker, Murray, Clooney, Lazenbury, Fitzgerald, Halfacre (Fenton 74’)
Subs not used: Graham, K.Nolan, Jones