Carlisle win on penalties in the League Two play-off final.
Carlisle United’s penalty shootout victory over Stockport County in the League Two play-off final was enough to propel them to League One.
After a 1-1 draw, the Cumbrians prevailed 5-4 on penalties after Holy saved Ryan Rydel’s shot.
Omari Patrick’s late goal cancelled out Jon Mellish’s first-half own goal for Stockport.
After a goalless extra time, Stockport’s Connor Lemonheigh-Evans converted the first penalty, and Kristian Dennis followed suit.
Holy dove to his right to deflect Rydel’s attempt, and Mellish put Carlisle ahead in the shootout.
Stockport’s third spot-kick was slid down the center by Myles Hippolyte, but Ryan Edmondson was equally cool to send Ben Hinchliffe the wrong way.
With a confident penalty, Jack Stretton kept Stockport’s hopes alive, only for Owen Moxon to smash into the corner.
Will Collar’s penalty finish was in vain, as Taylor Charters scored to win it and put Carlisle ahead.
Relive Carlisle’s Wembley victory.
When Isaac Olaofe’s cross looped up beyond Holy’s despairing fingertips and off the unfortunate Mellish, the Hatters took the lead.
After stealing the ball and sprinting clear, Carlisle’s Joel Senior was denied by defender Akil Wright, who then squandered a good opportunity to head in a critical second.
Patrick’s arrival proved costly, as he rolled a weak clearance past Hinchliffe for the equalizer.
Senior made a crucial block in extra time to send the game to overtime as Hippolyte sought a victory.
The extra time session was tense, but Mellish’s deflection this time proved crucial, deflecting Antoni Sarcevic’s attempt over the top.
Holy tipped over a blistering Stretton drive to keep Carlisle in the game, while Hinchliffe made an instinctive save to deny Dennis’ angled header.
It came down to spot-kicks, and the Cumbrians held their nerve to win.
Carlisle boss Paul Simpson put an end to the club’s play-off jinx Carlisle had visited Wembley five times before this game and lost each time, while the club had never gained promotion through the play-offs.
Carlisle buried their prior disappointments with this comeback triumph, ending both of those sequences.
The Cumbrians showed spirit to recover from an unfortunate own goal by Mellish, with Simpson’s substitutes Dennis and goalscorer Patrick making an impression in particular.
Simpson’s return to Carlisle last season was a phenomenal success, taking over a team that was second from bottom of the standings and gaining promotion in 18 months.
His acquisitions, such as captain Paul Huntington and goalie Holy, as well as assist-master Moxon, have proven to be pivotal.
He has also gotten the most out of established players like Jack Armer and Senior as they prepare to enter League One.
Challinor, a promotion expert, is thwarted in his pursuit of the Hatters.
Dave Challinor, who has won promotions with Colwyn Bay, AFC Fylde, Hartlepool and Stockport in his managerial career, would have been given every chance to add to his record in this final.
His team started quickly, stretching the game with former Carlisle striker Paddy Madden, and they were rewarded when Olaofe’s cross was deflected in.
Despite conceding, they remained competitive and had opportunities to win before losing in a shootout.
It was a dismal finale to an otherwise great season for Challinor and Stockport, who were promoted to League Two after winning the National League the previous season.
Coming within 90 minutes of the third tier seems like a tremendous step forward for a club that ended 14th in the National League North just last season.