HomeSTATSMatch ReportsSeason 2009/10Chorley 0-1 Prescot Cables 08/09/2009

Chorley 0-1 Prescot Cables 08/09/2009

Tuesday September 8th, 7.45pm
UniBond League Presidents Cup Preliminary Round

It used to be the case that pundits and speculators everywhere agreed that only a minor percentage of football comes down to luck. The general consensus used to be such that only 10% or 20% of the game relied upon good, or indeed bad, fortune.

But having won on a Saturday when they were largely outplayed, and, three days later, robbed of a result in a game they could have won five times over, everybody connected with Chorley will be asking why luck isn’t recognised to play such a huge part in football. Granted, a side can make or break their own luck, and the Magpies’ finishing was largely abysmal on a night when more or less everything else went to plan, but players, staff and supporters alike can be justified in posing the oft-asked question, ‘just how did that happen?’

If chance creation was Chorley’s forte, finishing was their Achilles heel. With skipper Tom Spearritt, fellow defender Wayne Maden, and star striker Terry Fearns all rested - as well as midfielder Jamie Holme - Reece Kelly and Matthew Swash were drafted into the squad. It would, in fact, be fair to suggest that the only period of the game that the hosts didn’t dominate was the first 10 minutes, during which Prescot Cables certainly cashed in.

Visitors’ No.8 Kenneth Rowlinson chipped a free kick into the area from the edge of the box, and as both Chris Smalley and Kelly were seemingly impeded, Jonathan Mitten nipped in to volley in a shot that found the back of the net, via Zac Hibbert’s palms. Winger Craig Fleury crashed a long range drive well wide, after a crafty lay-off by Phil Green, but it wasn’t long before the Magpies started to get into their stride. Josh Kenworthy had a fierce effort comfortably saved by Andy Paxton, after lively wing play by Christian Sawicki; Jason Dodwell sliced a speculative effort high and wide shortly afterwards.

Young Reece Kelly looked assured in most of that which was asked of him, his most notable early contribution a sprawling clearance from a dangerous Fleury cross that came from a swift Cables counter attack. While Prescot did have chances, they became gradually more sporadic and less clear-cut as the game went on. Josh Kenworthy seemed to have done everything right when he rounded the tumbling goalkeeper Paxton after 25 minutes, but the pacy striker could only put the ball across the face of goal from an acute angle.

The away side looked anything but a convincing outfit, their best player on the night the impressive No.7 Craig Fleury, who could have punished the Magpies for failing to clear a cross from Paul Cliff on the Prescot left, the right-sided player wildly driving the ball off target on the half-volley. Whether or not the wet turf on a miserable evening had anything to do with the poor Chorley finishing, the Magpies spurned enough chances to have won all of their September games; Chris Mason mis-hit a low attempt wide after beating full-back Mike Withers to the ball in the air.

Shortly before half-time, the home side came the closest they had come to an equaliser to up that point. Kenworthy’s awkward cross was blocked and the pressure was relieved momentarily by skipper Rob McIntosh, but when Danny Nolan picked up the ball on the right flank and cut inside, his powerful drive flew just a yard or so wide of Paxton’s post. Perhaps the most significant judgement of the evening that Mr Kettlewell had to make was in response to a Chorley penalty appeal shortly after the break; Mason’s effort was parried to the edge of the six yard box by Paxton, and as Nolan desperately tried to turn the bobbling ball over the line, there was reason for enquiry as to whether or not McIntosh cleared the ball away with his arm, but the referee was unmoved by the cries for a spot kick.

Even after a decent first half, the Magpies improved considerably after the break, putting their opponents under several spells of intense pressure. Chris Smalley blocked a rasping Fleury shot on the hour, but thereon it was all Chorley – Sawicki’s cross saw a darting Mason shoot against the legs of former Magpie defender Ian Callaghan, and just minutes later a speedy burst from the hosts’ No.9 was cut short by a desperate intervention from Dale Wright.

There was still plenty of time for an unlucky Mason to slice a shot wide, before Chris Amadi took Danny Nolan’s place in the home side’s only substitution of the night. Cables broke away in a rare attack, Hibbert saving a Mitten header well after a cross from Cliff.

Amadi received the ball to feet with 10 minutes of normal time remaining, the tall forward turning and shooting just wide, but Chorley’s best chance of the entire game was to fall to them in injury time. Initially, Chris Mason broke clear of the shackles to shoot at the sprawling body of Paxton, before the rebound effort was also placed straight at the goalkeeper. At the third time of asking, as the ball fell kindly, Josh Kenworthy blasted the ball against the underside of the crossbar to poignantly sum up a hugely frustrating night for the Magpies, and deny a further 30 minutes of play in the process.

The Magpies’ finishing had left a lot to be desired, but if the general performance levels remain as high as they were in this tantalising encounter, Steve Waywell’s side will win more games than they lose this term.

Report by Jack Hepworth

XI: Zac Hibbert, Martin Clark, James Mullineux, Chris Smalley, Reece Kelly, Jason Dodwell, Christian Sawicki, Michael Owens, Chris Mason, Josh Kenworthy, Danny Nolan.

Subs: Wayne Maden, Tom Spearritt, Jamie Holme, Chris Amadi (Nolan), Matthew Swash. Att: 163

Goal:  Jonathan Mitten (6)

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