Saturday April 2nd
Harrogate Railway Athletic, sat third from bottom of the league and so one of the most unlikely candidates, became the only the second team team to peform a league double over this Magpie this season, following in the footsteps of Warrington Town. Back in early November the Beavers became the first team to beat the Magpies this season with a two-one victory, and today they followed it up with a three-two success.
In the first win, Aaron Rey, who has since moved onto Colwyn Bay and Marine, netting in the third minute, but two goals in the final thirteen minutes turned the match. Today, Steve Foster put the Magpies in front with a cool finish on six minutes, but by the half hour mark the home side were in front. Jack Dorney netted his first goal since October 23rd from the spot to level things but a killer third arrived just four minutes from time.
Things started well for the Magpies with Fosters cool finish, side footing beyond the keeper when put clear by Andy Russell.
However the scores were level when Jon Maloney netted from the spot after a push by Andrew Teague in the area.
Shortly after this Teague was withdrawn due to injury and Jonathan Smith came off the bench to replace him.
Probably the most consistent player this season made a rare howler to let the home side in for their second goal. Tom Walker slipped on the ball in the area, gifting possession and the experienced Colin Hunter had the simple task of tapping home just a few feet out from goal.
The Magpies were back level though soon after when Dorney smashed home following Andy Russell being wrestled to the ground.
Foster and Dorney both had chances before the half ended, but the sides went in at half time all square.
The second half was a non-performance by Chorley, as the Harrogate team and pitch stifled any attempts to play football, along with an over officious official who was dishing out yellow cards for kicking balls away for fun, but declined to punish anyone for second cardable fouls – he was too quick to show yellow for minor misdemeanours to both sets of players.
Heading toward the final whistle disaster struck. A tame cross into the box wasn’t dealt with by the defence and debut keeper Chris Howarth was unable to reach the ball as it slowly bounced into the goal.
This result, along with Chester and Skelmersdale both winning, all but ends any realistic hopes of automatic promotion that were lingering, but now is the time to dig in and ensure home advantage in the play-offs.
Starting XI: Chris Howarth, Lee Woodyatt, Tom Walker, Andrew Teague, Andy Russell, Nathan Fairhurst, Jack Dorney, Steve Flitcroft, Matt Jansen, Steve Foster, Tom Ince
Subs: Mark Houghton (Jansen, 55), Adam Roscoe (Dorney, 82), Jonathan Smith (Teague, 30), Shelton Payne, Lloyd Rigby
Goals: STEVE FOSTER (6), Jon Maloney (16 Pen), Colin Hunter (31), JACK DORNEY (37 Pen), Simon Parkes (86)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: No-one, too many average performances to single one out abover the rest!