Saturday October 29th, 3pm
Chorley returned to winning ways, and scored their first away goals since mid-September, in a thrilling rollercoaster match in Derbyshire writes Shaun Baldwin.
With Gary Flitcroft naming what looked like an attack minded team, goals always seemed likely, but the manager will be haunted by a first half performance in which defensive lapses gifted the home team three goals.
Chorley began the game on the front foot, but were soon behind as the defence opened up to allow Mickleover’s Alex Steadman a tap in after just three minutes. It took the Magpies a while to recover from this early setback, and just as they were gaining a foothold in the match, they were rocked by a second goal from Mickleover. Five minutes before half time, Ben Watkis tried a speculative shot from outside the box which appeared to carry little threat, but the ball somehow squirmed beyond Russell Saunders’ grasp and crept into the net.
Stunned by this, Chorley went immediately on the attack, and fine work down the left by Adam Roscoe set up a point blank header from Andy Russell, which halved the deficit. But just as quickly, the home team restored their two goal cushion. Chorley were guilty of being too adventurous in playing the ball out of defence, and when possession was lost, the ball was played to the deadly Steadman who slammed it low into the net. So Mickleover went in at half time with a 3-1 lead, much to the delight of the home fans.
Whatever was said during the break paid immediate dividends. Just moments into the second half, Matt Walwyn was put through down the right, and he was clipped from behind by the chasing defender just inside the penalty box. Steve Foster cooly slotted in the spot kick, and the Magpies were back in business. Two minutes later, it was all square, as an inviting Tom Ince corner was met at the back post by a bullet header from Roscoe.
At 3-3 with 40 minutes still to play, the crowd wondered how many more goals would follow. In the end, the decisive strike came from Walwyn, who was quick to capitalise on a fortunate rebound off a Mickleover defender. One on one with the keeper, he steered the ball home off the far post. The comeback was complete!
For much of the second half, Chorley played the better football, with Matt Jansen increasingly involved, but Mickleover posed a frequent threat and Chorley’s defence did not always look as solid as earlier in the season. Indeed, only the post and heroic last gasp defending denied Mickleover a late equaliser.
Chorley therefore captured three very welcome points from this entertaining fixture. With the Magpies facing promotion-chasing rivals in the next six away games, the manager will be hoping to eliminate the lapses which gifted the goals to Mickleover, and that the team continues to pursue the passing game, which got them back into this match after the setbacks of the first half.
Starting XI: Russell Saunders, Mark Ross, Tom Walker, Andy Teague (capt), Andy Russell, Adam Roscoe, Matt Walwyn, Jamie Vermiglio, Matt Jansen, Steve Foster, Tom Ince.
Subs: Wayne Maden, Ali Brown, Simon Whaley (Jansen), Chris Denham (Foster), Jordan Bowen
Goals: Alex Steadman (3), Ben Watkis (40), ANDY RUSSELL (41), Alex Steadman (42), STEVE FOSTER pen (47), ADAM ROSCOE (49), MATT WALWYN (75)
Man of the Match: Adam Roscoe – commitment, energy, covered every blade of grass, and always a threat.