Chesterfield will play Oldham Athletic in a two-legged Northern Area final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy after a penalty shoot-out win at rain-drenched Deepdale against Prestson North End.
After the game finished 1-1 at full time the Spireites went on to win the penalty shoot-out 4-2.
Manager John Sheridan had made five changes from the narrow league defeat at home to Sheffield United 10 days previosuly. Tommy Lee returned in goal instead of Greg Fleming, whilst Aaron Downes, Danny Whitaker, Dean Morgan and Craig Westcarr came in for Neal Trotman, Lee Johnson, Tope Obadeyi and Leon Clarke.
Chesterfield line-up: Lee, Talbot (sub Mattis 90), Ford, Downes, Griffiths, Mendy, Allott, Whitaker, Morgan, Bowery (sub Clarke 75), Westcarr. Unused subs: Fleming, Lester, Obadeyi.
Rain drenched Deepdale
In a pulsating cup-tie the Spireites had fallen behind after 15 minutes when Preston's Jamie McCombe headed home from a corner.
It was end to end stuff and the Spireites deservedly equalised after 24 minutes through Craig Westcarr.
Drew Talbot fired in a shot on goal which took a deflection to leave Stuckman stranded and Westcarr tapped the ball into the empty net to make it 1-1.
There were chances at both ends as the ball zipped over the sodden surface. There was a let off after 35 mins as a shot hit the Spireites post from a deflection from Aaron Downes
Three minutes later Chesterfield hit the post with a good chance for Craig Westcarr. He got a shot off on the edge of a crowded penatly area but the post denief him and Chesterfield a second goal.
Following some great link up place between Drew Talbot and Craig Westcar on 42 mins the Spireiites had another good chance when a cross fell at the feet of Dean Morgan but a Presston defender blocked to save a certain goal.
It was an entertaing first half played in terrible wet conditions.
Half-time: Preston 1-1 Chesterfield
The start of the second-half didn't quite have the same momentum as the first but the first chance fell for Chesterfield when Jordan Bowery cut the ball back to Danny Whitaker whose shot from the edge of the area was delfected wide. The resulting corner wass wasted and went behind for a goal kick.
There was some good defending from Aaron Downes as Coutts looked to race through on goal and the danger was snuffed out.
It was an open game as both teams were looking to nudge in front.
With 20 minutes to go both teams were finding it difficut to find a telling touch in the final third but after 73 mins there were shouts for a penalty for Town. Alex Mendy knocked the ball past Gray and the defender blocked him off. From a defender's perspective it wasnt a penalty as the defender had nowhere to go commented Spireite defender Dean Holden, who was summarising for BBC Radio Sheffield.
Tommy Lee once again proved his worth with a brilliant save after Aaron Downes got his foot to a through ball and saw it heading for the top corner but Lee did brilliantly to push it behind
Then on 75 mins Dean Morgan raced onto a through ball and crossed for Jordan Bowery who was unmarked in the centre of the goal. But the young striker couldn't quire reach it.
That was Jordan Bowery's last contribution at he was then replaced by Leon Clarke.
Tommy Lee came to the Spireites rescue again on 77 mins as Mellor hit a thunderbolt from 30 yards and a minute later Mellor went close again. He ran onto a through ball and fired just wide of the Spireites upright.
Wiht two minutes to go of normal time Leon Clarke found space in the box but dragged his shot wide of the post
Preston fashioned a late chance of their own from a free kick on the left around 30 yards out. Mellor headed towards goal but once again Tommy Lee was there to save.
On the stroke of full time Tommy Lee made a sensational save to deny Preston. A dangerous ball in from the left looked to land right on the head of Mellor but Lee dived to tip it wide.
Then in injury time Alex Mendy put a ball across the 6 yard box and found Leon Clarke but he couldn't connect properly and the Preston 'keeper saved
After a bit of an autocation both Mellor and Talbot were booked. Talbot looked to have picked up an injury and was immediately subbed for Dwayne Mattis.
Full time score 1-1
Penalty shoot out - penalty by penalty.
Westcarr steps up first... and misses 0-0
Paul Parry... Scores 0-1
Danny Whitaker.....Scores 1-1
Mellor.... Scores 1-2
Leon Clarke... Scores 2-2
Graham Alexander.... Misses!! 2-2
Dean Morgan... Scores 3-2
Tommy Lee saves a crucial penalty
Paul Coutts.... SAVED 3-2
Alex Mendy coolly slots home the winning penalty 4-2
Final Score 1-1 (Chesterfield win 4-2 on penalties)