Pools came from behind to force a shootout thanks to Luke Molyneux’s remarkable strike after Mason Burstow and Alex Gilbey had cancelled out Joe Grey’s opener.
And it was Pools who held their nerve under the intense pressure of the penalty shootout, scoring all five of their spot kicks to move into the final four of the Papa John’s Trophy, just one win from a Wembley final.
Jamie Sterry was the man tasked with the all important penalty, after Ben Killip had earlier denied Elliot Lee, and the Pools defender made no mistake from 12-yards.
“It was exciting going a goal up and then getting back in the game.
“The last five minutes it’s the thought of ‘are we kicking on or are we settling for penalties?’ The lads were going for it,” said Lee.
“I thought we were dangerous on the counter attack at times and took up good positions but it came to penalties and I didn’t know which way to look. Do I look? Do I not look? I felt as though when I looked, it worked so I just stared at the goal.
“Ben [Killip] makes the save and then you’re relying on our lads to keep their composure and they did so it was brilliant.
“They kept going. With these games, once they are in it and the longer it goes on, the more belief the lads had and you could see that and it was exciting in the end.”