Saturday February 5th
The Magpies lost ground in the chase for the First Division North title with a draw against old foes Witton Albion in a game where the match officials chalked off three Magpies strikes and turned down a penalty appeal to dispel the myth of Chorley receiving favourable refereeing decisions!
The first chance came the way of Adam Roscoe, but Albion keeper Matt Townes who was in fine form all afternoon saved well. Townes then denied Man of the Match John Cunliffe, but even though he spilled th strikers shot he still managed to readjust himself to deny new signing Andrew Teague on the follow up.
Totally against the run of play Albion took the lead when Alex Titchair volleyed home a knock down from a long punt up field; however the Cheshire clubs lead only lasted four minutes.
Cunliffe reacted quickly to intercept a poor back pass, he then rounded the keeper before slotting home through the mud.
A superb piece of wing-play by Tom Walker gifted Roscoe another headed chance, but Townes again kept the ball out. However the keeper was then beaten by Cunliffe, but his shot from a Tom Ince cross rebounded off the foot of the post.
The Magpies then took the lead when following a corner Ince headed to Cunliffe from the edge of the box, the striker then turned the defence inside out before crossing perfectly to the far post for Teague to head home from 2 yards.
The lead could and should have been extended as first Whitham shot beyond the far post following excellent build-up play and finally Teague saw the first of the disallowed goals chalked off for off-side.
Following the first half being dominated by Chorley, Witton, to their credit, came out for the second half a different proposition and pushed the Magpies throughout.
On 55 minutes the referee turned down a penalty appeal. Cunliffe was through on goal and about to shoot from the corner of the 6-yard-box, when he was fouled from behind. The decision had to be either a penalty or corner if the defender had played the ball... Instead the referee awarded a goal-kick!
Lloyd Rigby was called into action to deny the visitors with a spectacular save and shortly afterwards the Magpies had their second goal ruled out for offside when Teague, despite looking onside, netted again. Despite the appeals the decision stood and Albion took advantage of the Magpies distraction to net the equaliser with Titchair scoring his second.
The third goal that wasn’t occurred on 75 minutes when Cunliffe netted following a smart interchange of passing between Cunliffe, Ince and Roscoe.
Despite the introductions of Jack Dorney Shelton Payne the Magpies could find a winner in the final minutes of the game.
Starting XI: Lloyd Rigby, Mark Ross, Tom Walker, Jerome Fitzgerald, Andrew Teague, Nathan Fairhurst, Dale Whitham, Steve Flitcroft, Adam Roscoe, John Cunliffe, Tom Ince
Subs: Jack Dorney (Fairhurst, 77), Lee Woodyatt, Andy Russell, Mark Houghton, Shelton Payne (Ince, 85)
Goals: Alex Titchair (15), JOHN CUNLIFFE (19), ANDREW TEAGUE (38), Alex Titchair (67)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: John Cunliffe, was at the centre of everything