Saturday March 24th, 3pm
Chorley gained revenge for a two-nil defeat at Keys Park in November with a fantastic performance against the team who were our closest rivals prior to kick-off.
This win, our twentieth in the league this season, cements our place in the play-offs and came on the back of the same score line at Worksop Town last week.
At 3pm all that separated the sides was alphabetical order with both teams having the same points, goals for and goals against record, but by 5.45 the Magpies had laid down a marker that should make all our promotion rivals take note.
Chorley got off to a flyer when Steve Foster beat the offside trap and raced through on goal, cooling slotting the ball beyond Dan Crane in the Town goal from the edge of the area.
After this Town fought back and had a spell on top. With Garry Flitcroft starting with 4-2-4 formation it gave the visitors numerical advantage in the middle of the park, but before the second goal was scored the only effort on Russell Saunders goal of note was a 25 yard free kick which the keeper saved.
Nine minutes before the interval new signing Ciaran Kilheeney, making his home debut, played Matt Walwyn through and the winger bagged his thirteenth goal for the Magpies with a neat finish from seven yards, his twenty-fourth of the season including his spell at Skelmersdale at the start of the campaign.
Four minutes later Kilheeney was on the score sheet, flicking in a Tom Ince corner to make it three goals in two games since his arrival from Droylsden.
The visitors looked shell shocked and had no response to the Magpies who were pilling on the pressure.
Adam Roscoe came very close with two headed efforts; the first cleared off the line and then Crane tipping the next over the bar.
With seconds remaining before the break Roscoe again was denied when another header was blocked, the ball then fell to Andy Teague, whose attempted drive was charged down but landed nicely for Chris Denham on the 18 yard line and the striker rifled the ball into the far corner for his ninth of the season to give the score line a surreal look as no one could have dreamt we’d be leading four-nil at half time.
To Hednesford’s credit they came out fired up for the second half and reduced the arrears on 56 minutes when Chris Clements scored with a 20 yard daisy cutter.
Flitcroft’s response to this was to change to 4-4-2, with Tom Williams replacing Matt Walwyn. This effectively killed off Town’s chances of a comeback as they were denied any space with the new Magpies formation.
Five minutes before the end Town finally breached the Magpies defence, but Saunders pulled off two fantastic point blank saves to keep Town out.
At the other end with just seconds remaining, substitute John Cunliffe who has experience a wretched season with injuries netted his first league goal of the campaign, sliding the ball under Crane from close range; this goal meaning all five strikers netted in the same game!
At the final whistle the team paraded the Lancashire Trophy around Victory Park and celebrated what has been a superb two weeks for the club.
Chorley: Russell Saunders, Mark Ross, Matt Walwyn, Andy Teague, Andy Russell, Jamie Vermiglio, Adam Roscoe, Ciaran Kilheeney, Chris Denham, Steve Foster, Tom Ince
Subs: Wayne Maden, John Cunliffe (Denham, 76), Ally Brown (Teague, 45), Tom Williams (Walwyn, 57), Jordan Bowen
Goals: STEVE FOSTER (2), MATT WALWYN (36), CIARAN KILHEENEY (40), CHRIS DENHAM (45), Chris Clemets (56), JOHN CUNLIFFE (89)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Jamie Vermiglio, outstanding.