Saturday November 12th, 3pm
For the second week in succession, Chorley failed to find the net despite creating enough chances to have won the game comfortably, as the Stocksbridge defence proved to be distinctly uncharitable on Derian Day. Despite occupying a lowly position in the table, the visitors earned a valuable point, just as they have achieved against several other high flying teams this season, most notably in picking up a draw at Hednesford in September writes Shaun Baldwin
Chorley started the game on the attack and within the opening five minutes had seen Dale Whitham’s thunderous header crash back off the crossbar and Tom Ince’s piledriver sail narrowly wide. Matt Walwyn squandered a chance soon after, when he took too long to line up a strike following an incisive through ball from Whitham.Alarm bells sounded for Chorley on the quarter hour mark, when Stocksbridge’s lively striker Jack Muldoon rounded Russell Saunders but could only find the side-netting from a tight angle.The remainder of the half saw the visitors’ defence under constant strain, with Ince smashing a close range shot against the woodwork and Walwyn failing to capitalise following good work from Jamie Vermiglio. The referee also waved away what seemed to be a clear penalty shout when Walwyn was upended by Stocksbridge ‘keeper Ben Scott. The final chance of the half, however, fell to the visitors, with the Chorley defence scrambling the ball to safety after Saunders misjudged a bouncing ball into the area.
As part of the club’s commitment to raise money for local children’s hospice Derian House, the day was marked by numerous fundraising initiatives at Victory Park, and as part of the occasion, the charity’s mascot Derian Dog battled out a penalty competition with Chorley’s very own Victor Magpie during the interval. Unfortunately for the healthy crowd of 870, this shootout provided the only opportunities to cheer any goals during the afternoon.
Into the second half, and more chances came and went for the Magpies. Just after the restart, good interplay between Whitham, Vermiglio and Steve Foster ended with nobody able to convert the striker’s firm drive across the front of goal. Shortly afterwards, it was skipper Andy Teague’s turn to be denied by the woodwork after he found some space in the penalty box, only to power his shot against the post.
For the remainder of the game, Chorley’s attacks became increasingly desperate, while the Stocksbridge back line grew in confidence and looked more resolute as they realised a point was within their grasp. Indeed, as the game became stretched, Muldoon had chances on the break to win it for the visitors. Garry Flitcroft’s second half substitutions this time failed to make the intended impact, and the 0-0 scoreline seemed inevitable long before the referee brough proceedings to a close.
So, more points dropped by Chorley, and all concerned will be hoping that they turn around the recent dip in form when they visit closest rivals Hednesford Town next week. On the plus side, the Magpies achieved only their second clean sheet in the last fourteen games, but it will be the side’s lack of goals that is concerning the manager as the club nears the halfway point of the season.
Starting XI: Russell Saunders, Mark Ross, Ally Brown, Andy Teague (capt), Andy Russell, Dale Whitham, Adam Roscoe, Jamie Vermiglio, Matt Walwyn, Steve Foster, Tom Ince.
Subs: Steve Flitcroft, Chris Denham (for Vermiglio, 60) Tom Williams (for Roscoe, 88), Simon Whaley (for Walwyn, 73), Tom Walker
Man of the Match: Tom Ince