Monday April 2nd, 7.45pm
THE Magpies trip to the Horsfall Stadium ended in defeat at the host side recorded a deserved eighth straight victory on home turf.
With two changes made to the starting line-up and a change in formation to recent games, the Magpies looked unsettled and disjointed at times. Tom Williams and Steve Flitcroft replaced Steve Foster and Matt Walwyn as the Magpies looked to field a team to compete with their physical and confident hosts.
Form the kick-off the Magpies looked to continue their recent good form, pressing their hosts, but soon the game settled into a midfield tussle.
Bradford had the first real chance of note on 22 minutes when a headed on target from a corner was blocked then cleared from danger.
Three minutes later man of the moment Ciaran Kilheeney shot wide following a Andy Teague flick on from a Mark Ross long throw.
Avenue came close to taking the lead on 34 minutes. Russell Saunders launched the ball up field only to see it come straight back as quickly as James Riley’s powerful header sent it flying toward the Chorley area. Tom Greaves followed the ball as it bounced between Chorley’s defence and keeper then somehow fired over with the goal gapping!
As the interval approached Andy Russell blazed over following another Ross long throw, but his sight of goal was blocked by Kilheeney who appeared to have taken a blow to the head just as the ball arrived in the area.
The second half saw Avenue step up the pressure, creating the greater number of chances and keeping the Magpies attack well under control.
In the opening 10 minutes Saunders was delighted to catch wayward cross when a better ball would have left him exposed; Russell was outpaced by Greaves but his shot went the wrong side of the angle; then another attempt from distance went well wide.
Saunders made the save of the night, diving full stretch to tip a drive over the bar. Then from the resulting corner the goal came. An own goal was only denied by the woodwork as Teague miscued a header but as the ball was cleared Adam Roscoe was somewhat deemed to have hand balled. Richard Marshall’s spot kick beat Saunders for pace as the keeper came so close to his second penalty save in three days.
Almost instantly Foster, Walwyn and Ashley Parillon were introduced and this turned the tide.
Walwyn attempted to relive his goal against Wigan Robin Park, but his shot flew aimlessly wide then Chris Denham crossed to Parillon, and had the ball been an inch closed to the player then surely the former Clitheroe midfielder would have scored!
As Chorley continued to push for an equaliser another Ross ‘Delapidator’ went agonisingly close to Foster, but the league’s player of the year could get a contact on the ball, then in the third minute of stoppage time a Ince free kick was comfortably saved by John Lamb in the home goal.
You can’t win every game and Bradford fully deserved the points tonight, but we deservedly lost at AFC Fylde in the league last season!!!
Starting XI: Russell Saunders, Mark Ross, Tom Williams, Andy Teague, Andy Russell, Jamie Vermiglio, Chris Denham, Steve Flitcroft, Ciaran Kilheeney, Adam Roscoe, Tom Ince
Subs: Steve Foster (Flitcroft, 69), Matt Walwyn (Williams, 69), John Cunliffe, Ashley Parillon (Vermiglio, 72), Ally Brown
Goal: Richard Marshall (65)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Mark Ross, worked hard throughout and his long throws were often our best weapon.