Boss Luke Williams was stunned by the way Notts County beat Chesterfield in a penalty shootout against win the National League promotion final.
A John Bostock free-kick sent the game into extra time when Andrew Dallas’ penalty appeared enough to earn Chesterfield the win.
Ruben Rodrigues assured it would be decided by a penalty shootout when he then canceled out Armando Dobra’s goal.
“I can’t figure it out, I’m lost,” Williams told BBC Radio Nottingham.
“It’s unbelievable, I have no idea what’s going on.
“I’ve learned that when these guys look like they’re done, they’re not – they have another roll of the dice.”
Notts won promotion in dramatic circumstances despite leading just a minute in their two play-off matches, which included a delay in the final from the fifth minute and a semi-final loss to Boreham Wood. final with a goal in the last minute of extra time a week earlier.
Victory in the Wembley showdown to reclaim their role as “the world’s oldest football league club” capped a record-breaking season.
The 107 points they amassed to finish second in the table would have earned them automatic promotion in every season but this one, with Wrexham’s National League record 111 points making them champions.
While prolific Magpie Macaulay Langstaff was unable to add to his National League record 42 goals for the season in the play-offs, he led Notts’ promotion bid, which included a club record of 32 league wins and 117 goals.
“A stressful world”
Ultimately it was a penalty shootout, with substitute keeper Archie Mair, who was named in place of Sam Slocombe late in extra time, making two saves before Cedwyn Scott sealed the win.
Scott’s successful effort helped banish memories of his missed late penalty in Notts’ defeat at Wrexham last month, a result that proved key in the race for automatic promotion.
“You’re just in a stressful world,” Williams said of the match’s emotions.
“I don’t think I had a fun time until Cedwyn’s penalty crossed the line.”
“Insane Notts wasn’t already promoted”
Chesterfield boss Paul Cook said the Spireites ‘have no regrets about the game’ and added it was ‘insane’ Notts hadn’t already been raised, with just an automatic promotion spot at hand. win in the fifth English level.
Cook’s side led the division in September but finished third in the table, 23 points clear of Notts as they couldn’t keep up with the pace set by Wrexham and the Magpies.
“I have to congratulate Notts County on a great year, to get the number of points they had and not increase [automatically] is a real blow,” Cook said.
“It’s a good, very competitive league, with a lot of good managers, coaches and teams. The fact that only one team was allowed to go up automatically is just insane. It’s an absolute sporting disgrace.
“Notts County should have gone up automatically without a doubt. Today we came here and we have no regrets about the game – we gave our best.”