Saturday September 18th
Chorley came out on top on this close fought game between the two stand-out teams in the Evo-Stik First Division.
With all the pre-match hype of this second v top encounter, everyone was made to reflect on matters of a far more serious nature prior to kick-off as the 1st Battalion of the Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) performed a guard of honour for the children of Corporal Terry Webster, who presented the match ball to the teams on the pitch.
Corporal Webster, was born in Chester, was recently killed in action in Afghanistan. Following the presentation of the ball, a minute’s applause was held in which all 3,092 at the game participated superbly.
Back to the matter of the day, football.
The Magpies got off to a good start and dominated possession for the first ten minutes of the game, with Chester hardly having a sniff of the ball, but despite have the ball, no chances were created during this spell.
Then the visitors were caught napping at the back as following a right wing cross, Chester nearly got in on the opposite side, but Lee Woodyatt, on his old patch, recovered well.
Chester then had their best spell of the game, and in a 20 minute spell Aaron Grundy had to be in superb form to single handily keep the hosts out with a series of fine saves as the defence lost its cohesion.
However, the Magpies fought back and on 32 minutes the opening goal was smash home back big defender Andy Russell.
Loan signing Chris Simm, playing against the club he could have joined, cut on from the left flank but hauled to the ground by two defenders. His free kick rebounded into the area and Russell slammed the ball home on the turn to send the 300+ Magpies supporters into raptures.
Chester responded well to going behind, with Grundy again in good form, but following a corner Rob Hopley found a way past Grundy with a header
Ten minutes into the second half saw the introduction of Shelton Payne for Tom Ince, and within minutes his pace won the game. He received the ball on the half way line and left the full back for dead, but as he reached the area he was brought crashing down just the right side of the line, and Jack Dorney stepped up to score his 12th goal of the season.
The remainder of the game was a tight affair with Chester pushing for an equaliser and the Magpies breaking with their pace and Chris Simm could have wrapped it up, but chipped wide from the edge of the box, but as the final whistle was blown it was 10% of the attendance tucked into one corner of the ground who were cheering on their team as they opened up a four point lead at the top of the table.
Starting XI: Aaron Grundy, Lee Woodyatt, Tom Walker, Wayne Maden, Andy Russell, Dale Whitham, Jack Dorney, Jamie Vermiglio, Chris Simm, Mark Houghton, Tom Ince
Subs: Jonthan Smith, Shelton Payne (Ince, 55), Matt Jansen (Houghton, 35), Nathan Fairhurst, Mark Ross
Goals: ANDY RUSSELL (31), Rob Hopley (35), JACK DORNEY (57 Pen)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Aaron Grundy, this isn’t a reflection on the balance of play, but reward for his saves in the first half which were superb.