Monday August 29th, 3pm
THE Magpies suffered their first defeat of the season in the keenly contested encounter against Merseysiders Marine.
The ever increasing number of absentees from the starting line-up will be a worry for manager Garry Flitcorft. Unable to call on John Cunliffe or Mark Ross so far this season; Chris Denham has been missing since the second game and since then Jamie Vermiglio, Adam Roscoe and Shelton Payne have physio Beverly Websters busy workload!
Chorley kicked off with Dale Whitham playing just behind striker Steve Foster in a 4-2-3-1 set-up; and players adjusting to the new formation might have been the reason behind the early goal conceded.
Striker Neil Harvey, a current international with Barbados, was a real thorn in the side all afternoon, netted the opening when he found himself one-on-one with Russell Saunders, and chipped the
Magpies keeper for the opening in the 6th minute.
The Magpies regained the composure and levelled the score on twelve minutes through Whitham.
Following a spell of pressure from both flanks, Tom Williams whipped in a fine cross and Whitham rose about the defence to nod in beyond Ryan McMahon’s reach.
Marine were strong throughout and their squad was tested with three substitutions made due to injuries. Shortly after the equaliser there were claims from the away supporters for a penalty for handball against
Andy Teague, but these calls were waived away by the referee and this wouldn’t be the only time during the game he did this, rightly or wrongly!
Harvey showed good composure to control, turn and volley in one move, but he lacked accuracy as Saunders goal wasn’t at risk.
On the half hour mark Tom Ince swung in a superb cross into six yard box, but the defence just cut the ball out as Tom Williams was ready to pounce.
The second penalty shout of the game was from the Magpies as Steve Foster appeared to be flattened from behind, but the referee was unmoved.
The visitors should have retaken the lead as the half drew to a close when a mistake by Nick Meace released three Marine forwards against two defenders, but instead of moving the ball ex-Magpie Aaron Rey opted to shoot and his effort went well wide.
Into the second period and the first chance of the new half fell to Marine and it turned out to be the winner. Rey advanced down the left flank before cutting into the area to put the ball on a plate for Harvey who couldn’t miss from three yards.
Lee McEvilly and Simon Whaley were introduced to chase a second equaliser.
Steve Foster, who ran tirelessly all afternoon, sliced a shot wide with his first sight of goal, but had it tested the keeper the assistant was poised to disappoint everyone with his flag.
There were then two penalty shouts in a matter of minutes neither of which impressed the referee, Mr Midgley.
Firstly Marine had a half shout, but it was never going to be give, then at the other end Steve Foster put the ball past keeper McMahon then appeared to most people in the ground to be dragged down by the keeper, well as I said most people and this obviously didn’t include the match officials!
Into the final minutes of the game and Wayne Maden, on as an extra body in attack, had two chances, but couldn’t convert either and McMahon was booked for time wasting approximately thirty minutes late!
On this showing , Marine were full value for the three points and will certainly be there or thereabouts come May.
Starting XI: Ross Saunders, Nick Meace, Tom Walker, Andy Teague, Andy Russell, Nathan Fairhurst, Tom Williams, Steve Flitcroft, Dale Whitham, Steve Foster, Tom Ince
Subs: Lee McEvilly, Simon Whaley, Wayne Maden, Matt Jansen, Chris Howarth
Goals: Neil Harvey (5), DALE WHITHAM (12), Neil Harvey (56)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Andy Teague, solid as a rock