HomeSTATSMatch ReportsSeason 2009/10Chorley 3-3 FC Halifax Town 25/08/2009

Chorley 3-3 FC Halifax Town 25/08/2009

Tuesday August 25th, 7.45pm
League

It take some rollercoaster of a football match to leave you with such a vast array of mixed emotions as the Chorley faithful will be experiencing after a thrilling 3-3 draw with FC Halifax Town. From the fear of being on the back foot for the first 15 minutes, to the elation of racing into 2-0 and 3-1 leads, to the disappointment of being pegged back to 3-3, to the determination and pride of a battling performance to earn a point against the division’s outstanding side.

 

Now managed by Neil Aspin, the Shaymen look a much more formidable outfit than last season, perhaps better off for their experience of a year in the UniBond First Division, perhaps less naïve now of their surroundings. It was the visitors who applied all of the early pressure; Nick Gray turned Tom Spearritt on the edge of the area, blasting wide of the post, with chances for Chorley at a premium. 

The Magpies’ only attack of note in the opening 20 minutes saw a swift interchange between Chris Amadi and Terry Fearns – two of three forwards in a 5-2-3 formation – only for Amadi to blaze a wild effort well over Phil Senior’s crossbar. Wayne Maden flicked a corner over the bar, albeit only after a foul was given against the huge centre-half, but Halifax settled quickly, rhythmically and incisively looking for the breakthrough. 

Credit ought to be given to Chorley stopper Zac Hibbert, who pulled off a quite brilliant save from Richard Marshall. Gray exploited a momentary lapse in concentration, and fired a dangerous centre into the six yard box. A sprawling Marshall met the ball with a diving header at the back post, but miraculously, Hibbert scrambled across his goal line to paw the ball away to safety. 

Chorley’s main threat came from set pieces at this stage, a Spearritt cross directed over the bar by the impressive Maden, before the Magpies struck against the run of play. Spearritt clipped a delightful ball from a free kick over a statuesque Halifax back line, with Fearns breaking the offside trap and volleying a low effort beyond the palms of Senior and into the back of the net. It may not have been a goal the hosts deserved on merit from the first 34 minutes of play, but it was a move of undisputed class, that saw the striker claim his third goal of the season. 

The Magpies had the proverbial bit between their teeth now, making their own luck maybe, with Chris Mason feeding his namesake Amadi, the powerhouse forward turning and curling an impressive shot on target from 20 yards; Senior did well to parry the ball around his right-hand post for a corner. 

Aspin’s side packed little more threat before the interval though; Marshall beat Maden in the air before wildly driving a misdirected shot high into the night sky, but it was the Magpies who punished their visitors after the break. Mason took on an optimistic shot from range, but, with the help of a deflection, Senior was beaten, to compound the miseries of the high flyers. 

James Dean was soon tearing Chorley apart though, rebelling with good cause against the Magpies, heading home the overlapping Aaron Hardy’s cross with power, to reduce the arrears. But any jitters from the home side were allayed soon after in a flurry of goals; when two Halifax heads misjudged the flight of the ball from a Chorley corner from the Magpies’ right, who other than Fearns was on hand to head home his fourth goal in as many games – a true poacher’s effort, and one that brought relief and delight to Chorley. 

Unfortunately for Steve Waywell’s side, déjà vu soon struck, with half-time substitute Mark Peers making it 3-2. The Magpies failed to deal with sustained pressure from their visitors, and the ball eventually broke to Peers at the back post, who finished with aplomb past Hibbert at the goalkeeper’s right hand post. By the time 64 minutes had been played, the scores were level. 

Gray searched out Paul Sykes, who ran at a back pedalling James Mullineux, before Sykes drove the ball home, to set up an exciting finale – with a full 25 minutes, plus five minutes added on – still to go. With the away team in the ascendancy, Ryan Crossley headed a corner on to the Chorley bar, the Magpies having to keep it tight at the back and gamble on the counter attack. 

Josh Kenworthy came on for Mason, and broke free of the clutches of Crossley to have a run at goal, but Senior saved well with his legs to deny the young striker his first goal of the season. Town had a goal rightly disallowed after a foul on Hibbert, with half-chances still emerging in the dying stages. 

Though all said and done, anything less than a point would have been extremely harsh on the Magpies, with the opportunity of taking all three a very fair reality before Town’s strong battle. 

By Jack Hepworth

XI: Zac Hibbert, Martin Clark, Chris Smalley, Tom Spearritt, Wayne Maden, James Mullineux, Jamie Holme, Karl Brown, Terry Fearns, Chris Amadi, Chris Mason, 

Subs: Josh Kenworthy (for Mason), Danny Nolan, Michael Owens (for Brown), Jason Dodwell (for Amadi), Lee Shillito

Attendance: 676 

Goals: TERRY FEARNS 34, CHRIS MASON 50, James Dean 53, TERRY FEARNS 56, Mark Peers 57, Paul Sykes 64

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