Saturday October 23rd
CHORLEY maintained their two points and one game advantage over their nearest rivals Chester with this win against a side very familiar to more than a few of the current home sides staff in front of a bumper crowd of 1,119.
Garry Flitcroft’s summer switch from the Leigh Sports Village/Crilly Park to the Chorley Group Victory Park Stadium, along with the management team and nine players no doubt played their part in stirring emotions on both sides prior to kick-off, but once the ball was in motion there was only one winner today.
Last week Leigh shocked many in the Evo-Stik League, most of all Chester, as they stole a point from the Deva Stadium with a last minute leveller, but any chance of a repeat result happening today evaporated in the opening quarter of the game as the Magpies, cheered on by the club largest league attendance at the club since the visit of FC United in September 2007 – prior to FC United you’d have to go back to our days in the Conference to beat today attendance!
Chorley dominated possession from the kick-off and deservedly took the lead on 10 minutes when Dale Whitham side footed home from 8 yards following a square ball by debutant Aaron Rey.
The second goal came 12 minutes later when a Tom Ince cross, bound for Rey, was half cleared by the Genesis defence. Whitham picked up the loose ball played in Jordan Stepien whose shot on the turn from the edge of the area took a deflection and looped over the keeper into the goal.
Despite dominating the ball and passing it about freely, real clear cut chances were at a premium as the front-line looked to settle following the chances in recent weeks caused by the return to Southport of Chris Simm, Shelton Payne’s three match suspension and the injury to Mark Houghton.
Into the second half and Rey went close when played in by Ince on the hour mark.
The third goal came courtesy of a Jack Dorney special, his 8th penalty of the season and his 16th goal of the campaign, following a foul on Stepien.
With a three goal cushion and a couple of substitutions made, the Magpies took their foot of the gas and let Leigh in with a last minute consolation goal. Picking the ball out of the net was the first thing Dean Porter, who was standing in for Aaron Grundy who picked up an injury in the warm-up, had to do all day!
Starting XI: Dean Porter, Lee Woodyatt, Tom Walker, Wayne Maden, Andy Russell, Dale Whitham, Jack Dorney, Steve Flitcroft, Jordan Stepien, Aaron Rey, Tom Ince
Subs: Matt Jansen, Steve Burke (Rey, 73), Nathan Fairhurst (Dorney, 73), Mark Ross, Jonathan Smith
Goals: DALE WHITHAM (10), JORDAN STEPIEN (22), JACK DORNEY (65 Pen), John Lawless (89)
Chorlefc.com Man of the Match: Steve Flitcroft, controlled the game from midfield