THERE was penalty heartache for former Chard Town and Taunton Town player Matt Buse on Sunday, as Hartlepool United overcame Torquay United in the Vanarama National League play-off final.

Midfielder Buse played for Chard Under-18s before moving on to Taunton in 2016, only for him to switch to Gosport Borough while studying at Bournemouth University.

Buse returned to Taunton in October 2017, and his impressive performances for the Peacocks saw him join Torquay in the summer of 2019.

The 23-year-old was named on the bench for the play-off final at Ashton Gate, Bristol, and watched Luke Armstrong put Hartlepool ahead in the 36th minute.

Torquay's Kyle Cameron twice had goals ruled out for what were deemed as fouls on goalkeeper Brad James.

Just as it looked like the game was up, Torquay's Brazilian keeper Lucas Covolan headed in, five minutes into stoppage time, to give his team another chance to end their seven-year stay in Non-League football.

Colovan - a former team-mate of Liverpool's own keeper-turned-scorer Alisson Becker - raced into the box for a corner, which was cleared, but when the ball was lumped back in from the right, Covolan rose to nod past James and force extra time.

No further goals arrived in the next 30 minutes, meaning a penalty shoot-out was required.

Four straight misses got nerves jangling, until six straight spot-kicks were converted and sudden death was required.

After Ryan Donaldson scored for Hartlepool, Buse - a 105th-minute substitute for Torquay - saw his effort pushed on to the bar by James, confirming promotion to the Football League for Dave Challinor's men.