HomeSTATSMatch ReportsSeason 2009/10Chorley 0-0 Wakefield 15/08/2009

Chorley 0-0 Wakefield 15/08/2009

Saturday August 15th, 4pm

It seems quite contrived – and fairly cruel too – that at a time of year when expectation and optimism is at its highest, with the a new season lying invitingly ahead of us all, players need time to gel, to get used to new systems and styles, and success is never instant. Understandable though it is, it seems a shame that just as hopes get inflated, we are reminded with the need for patience.

It would, perhaps, be harsh to class this opening day curtain-raiser as a humdrum affair, but nonetheless, this wasn’t quite the flying start Steve Waywell’s new look Chorley side would have been aiming for, prior to the big kick-off.

The only goalless UniBond North match on the first day of the season was also the only one delayed; Wakefield players were caught up in motorway traffic and it was 3.20pm before the entire side arrived, ready for a four o’clock kick-off. Such delays can affect a team’s preparation in different ways, but no matter how the pre-match routines were influenced by the disrupted schedule, there can be no denying Chorley’s lackadaisical start.

A vastly disparate side to the 08/09 outfit included Zac Hibbert in goal, with Chris Smalley and James Mullineux playing as full-backs. The imposing pairing of captain Tom Spearritt and Wayne Maden completed the back four, with Karl Brown partnering Mark Rogers in the centre of midfield. Michael Owens and Danny Nolan aimed to provide the ammunition for Terry Fearns and Josh Kenworthy up front.

Ronnie Glavin, the Wakefield manager, has once again built around experience to maintain a physical and strong side, full of athletes; No.10 Adam Jones had the beating of Karl Brown and Mark Rogers in the midfield before half-time, with Wayne Shooter – who scored against the Magpies in December 2008 – enjoying plenty of possession on the right wing.

Captain Wes Milnes and his partner in the centre of Wakefield’s defence, Craig Laight, were dominant in the air against Terry Fearns and Josh Kenworthy – all too often hopeful balls were pinged up towards the Chorley front men that were simply bread and butter for the visitors’ defence.

However, Fearns and Kenworthy ran the channels tirelessly, not exacerbating the situation by switching off, and the seasoned campaigner Fearns showed industry down the right flank just six minutes in, sailing a cross in Nolan’s direction, but the young forward’s header didn’t have enough power to beat Slovakian goalkeeper Jan Zolna.

For the majority of the match, the Magpies looked susceptible to Wakefield’s effective direct ball into the wide areas, but shortly after Nolan’s effort, opposition striker Craig Thompson dropped deep to collect the ball before turning neatly and powering a fierce drive at goal, Zac Hibbert doing well to palm the low blast wide of his left-hand post.

Josh Kenworthy had an optimistic effort parried away to safety by Zolna, but chances were at a premium, with the main complaint from Chorley fans seeming to be the lack of midfield presence, with wingers seeming isolated and Wakefield bossing the show in the centre of the park.

The Magpies didn’t inspire much confidence from set pieces, with the usually dominant Wayne Maden and Tom Spearritt seeming somewhat subdued, Lady Luck smiling on Chorley on occasion! Wayne Shooter looped a dipping effort from 25 yards that brought the save of the half from Hibbert in the hosts’ goal, but on balance, the home side were probably a tad relieved to get in at half-time level and still very much in the game.

Steve Waywell and Lol McMahon appeared to have left a flea in the Chorley players’ ears at the interval, with a marked improvement from the Magpies, although substitute Ryan Kenyon – on for Michael Owens just after the break – struggled to make much of an impact at first. James Mullineux was shifted to full-back for the day, and was forced to make a tremendous block on the hour.

Livewire Delroy Ferguson chipped the ball into the centre from deep, and Shooter had time to bring the ball down on his chest before letting rip with a rasping half-volley; Mullineux took up a strong position to block the powerful effort and clear the danger.

It may be melodramatic to define that as the turning point in the game, after which Chorley put their opponents under more pressure, but it certainly seemed to galvanise Steve Waywell’s ranks. On many occasions, Fearns had been left feeding off scraps, with through balls frustratingly over hit, but when Fearns got in behind Milnes, he challenged the onrushing Zolna in the air, and should have been awarded a corner, with the linesman signalling for a goal kick instead.

Yorkshire hearts were fluttering again just a few minutes later, with a corner from the Chorley left arrowed in. Mark Rogers managed to flick the ball on at the near post, but none of the waiting players in black and white shirts gambled to poke the ball home, and the chance disappeared with the same rapidity with which it came about in the first instance.

Wayne Maden limped off to be replaced by Luke Charnley, with Jason Dodwell coming on for Josh Kenworthy for the last 10 minutes, and while Wakefield still had plenty of the ball, they had been forced back, dropping deeper and gradually becoming more satisfied with a point on their travels.

Many pundits effortlessly rehearse the phrase that lauds the top sides’ ability to grind out results in the face of adversity, winning matches they perhaps don’t deserve to over the course of 90 minutes. Maybe if Terry Fearns had converted a chance on 85 minutes, a chance that nine times out of 10 you would probably back him to finish, the Chorley faithful would be quoting that weary cliché too.

Said opportunity arose with Ryan Kenyon’s best contribution - an inch-perfect ball found Fearns just onside, and as Zolna came to meet the striker, Fearns lobbed the ball over the keeper’s head, but agonisingly for the hosts, the ball trickled wide of the mark, and the Magpies’ best chance had gone begging.

The game petered out for a goalless draw – to follow up the final game of last season, a stalemate with FC Halifax Town – but Chorley will, no doubt, have been glad of the opportunity to get into winning habits three days later with a Lancashire derby, at Clitheroe.

Report by Jack Hepworth 

Chorley: Zac Hibbert, Chris Smalley, James Mullineux, Tom Spearritt, Karl Brown, Wayne Maden, Michale Owens, Mark Rogers, Terry Fearns, Josh Kenworthy, Danny Nolan

Subs: Ryan Kenyon (for Owens), Luke Charnley (for Maden), Martin Clark, Jason Dodwell (for Kenworthy), Mike Fletcher

Attendance: 232

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