Monday May 2nd
Promotion Play-Off Semi-Final
Chorley recorded a fourth victory of the season over perennial play-off contenders Curzon Ashton to book home advantage in the end of season finale against AFC Fylde this Friday.
In front of a bumper crowd of 1515, in blustery conditions and with the wind mostly to their backs, Chorley set off the stronger.
Player-coach Matt Jansen had the first effort of note in the tenth minutes, trying his luck from distance his shot went just wide.Shortly after this there were loud appeals from both home players and fans for hand ball when the ball appeared to his Adam Jones’ raised arm when jumping to head clear a Adam Roscoe cross, and then in the same passage of play Jansen, this time inside the six yard box, again shot narrowly wide when under pressure.
At the other end Curzon then carved open the Chorley defence with a fine passing move, but the end shot was shanked wide.
Defender Andy Teague narrowly headed a Tom Ince corner over the bar and Jansen again had a go from range.
Both side playing good football considering the conditions.
Luke Mack shot for the visitors, but the defence blocked well.
With a little over half an hour played the deadlock was broken. For too long this season we’ve been unable to select both Jamie Vermiglio and Dale Whitham in the same starting eleven due to injury and the opening goal was down to the midfield pair who dominated the centre of the park throughout today. Vermiglio played a superb pass to Whitham who then from just inside the area lofted the ball beautifully over
David Carmal in the visitor’s goal for his twentieth goal of the season.
Soon afterward Curzon had a golden chance to level with a free-kick, but two players at the back stick got in each other’s way and the headed opportunity was wayward and soon after this Tom Walker tackled superbly to deny Mack on the edge of the six-yard box.
As the half drew to an end the game became end-to-end. Andy Russell headed wide for Chorley then at the other end Chris Howarth was quickly out to close down Daniel Broadbent. Jansen squared to Steve Foster, but Carmel cut-out the cross.
After the interval Curzon came out fired up, no doubt their manager Gary Lowe gave them a good talking to in what was to be his final game as manager of the club after eleven years in charge. Mack shot just beyond the angle of the goal just moments before Joseph Even equalised on fifty-two minutes from close range.
Just prior to this goal Jack Dorney replaced the tiring Jansen, bringing fresh energy to the front line, but Curzon still had a good spell of pressure, though without causing Howarth too much trouble. Corners and free-kicks were dealt with superbly, with Teague, Russell, Ross and Roscoe dominating in the air.
The defence and keeper were an absolutely solid unit throughout the game; Dorney and Ince were a constant threat with the ball at their feet; Roscoe provided powerful running on the right and height at both end of the pitch; Vermiglio and especially Whitham were getting forward to support when going forward and defended like dogs of war when chasing back; Steve Foster chased and harried for the full ninety minutes giving the Curzon back four very little time to rest.
Ince and Vermiglio had shots from distance charged down as Chorley started to end Curzon’s spell and turn the pressure back on to the Tamesiders.
With twenty-minutes remaining the winning goal was netted by Adam Roscoe. The big centre forward has in recent games found a new lease of life playing out on the right wing, and he combined with old skills with his new position to power home a deep Ince cross into the far corner, beyond the reach of Carmel and the predatory instincts of Foster
Despite needed a goal to level the game, Curzon rarely threatened in the final minutes as Chorley continued to press forward. Whitham & Vermiglio both tried their luck from outside the area and Foster, with the final chance of the game, volleyed just over from the edge then chipped just inched too high as Carmel back peddled to regain his ground.
In the final stages news had come through from Stormy Corner than AFC Fylde had won their semi-final with Skelmersdale United with a goal a minute from time, and so the 2010/11 Evo-Stik League First Division North Promotion Play-Off Final will be between Chorley and AFC Fylde and will be staged at The Chorley Group Victory Park Stadium this Firday (May 6th), with a 7.45pm kick-off.
Starting XI: Chris Howarth, Mark Ross, Tom Walker, Andrew Teague, Andy Russell, Dale Whitham, Adam Roscoe, Jamie Vermiglio, Matt Jansen, Steve Foster, Tom Ince
Subs: Lee Woodyatt, Jack Dorney (Jansen, 49), Shelton Payne, Nathan Fairhurst, Jordan Stepien
Goals: DALE WHITHAM (31), Joseph Evane (51), ADAM ROSCOE (70)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: The Team, a superb all round effort.