Saturday January 28th, 3pm
THE Magpies will have felt this was two points dropped, but Stafford did more than enough to earn their share of the points on a heavy Victory Park pitch in front of another 1000+ attendance.
Matt Walwyn netted a first half brace either side of a Michael Carr free-kick, but Steve Foster will be kicking himself (if his ankles can take any further punishment) after the leagues joint top scorer at kick-off missed from the penalty spot on 18 minutes which would have put Chorley two up.
The Magpies game out of the blocks flying, pegging Stafford back for long periods early on and took a deserved lead on 16 minutes when Walwyn dispatched a Ince cross from just inside the 18 yard box.
Two minutes later the lively Chris Denham was dropped in the area and the referee had not hesitation in pointing to the spot. The normally reliable Steve Foster though gave visiting keeper Danny Read and easy task of saving a tame penalty.
A further two minutes later and it was Foster turn to go down in the box, but the chances of a referee giving two penalties in quick succession are very rare, and despite it looked a stonewall penalty the claims were waved away.
Denham became the first player to pick up a yellow for a mistimed challenge, then Rangers striker Chris Morris was lucky to stay on the pitch after retaliating following a Mark Ross tackle. The referee gave a throw-in, so no foul committed by Ross, but only a yellow for Morris who had raised his hands against the Chorley defender.
This missed opportunity to open a two goal lead eventually cost the Magpies as despite bossing the ball for the opening half hour Stafford drew level when Michael Carr scored with a deflected free-kick from the edge of the area after an Andy Teague foul, for which he was cautioned.
With the half coming to an end Steve Foster squared from the right, Walwyn the turned the defence to create himself some space and fired into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Rangers though came out fired up and levelled the score again on 52 minutes and it was another set-piece goal. Winger John Sheldon’s direct free-kick from the right wing evaded everyone and went in off the far post.
Adam Roscoe and Steve Flitcroft battled for possession on the edge of the box, then released Foster and Denham who combined well and saw Denham force an excellent acrobatic save from Read.
John Cunliffe and Jordan Bowen were brought on in the chase for a winner, but despite their best efforts the Magpies could find a third and indeed in the latter stages of the game Chorley’s back five were in action more than the attack as Stafford looked for revenge for our late winner at Marston Road in August.
Starting XI: Russell Saunders, Mark Ross, Matt Walwyn, Andy Teague, Andy Russell, Jamie Vermiglio, Adam Roscoe, Steve Flitcroft, Chris Denham, Steve Foster, Tom Ince
Subs: Wayne Maden, John Cunliffe, Ahmadi Proya, Jordan Bowen, Ally Brown
Goals: MATT WALWYN (15), Michael Carr (36), MATT WALWYN (45), Jonathon Sheldon (52)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Matt Walwyn, a real threat throughout, especially in the opening 45.